Friday, July 10, 2015

Campanula americana-A Native Plant for Shady Gardens

If you were to ask me what the most abundant native plant in my yard is my answer would be Campanula americana.  Then maybe you would ask me why.  Well, I have a few reasons I let this lovely plant grace so much of my backyard every year, and hopefully after you read my reasons for growing this beauty you will also find room in your garden to grow it too.
Campanula americana's unique and beautiful flower
A patch of Campanula americana growing in my garden

So here are the main reasons that I grow this beauty in my garden:

1.  It is a native plant (in my area).

2.  It is a pollinator magnet.

3.  It is easy care and simple to propagate.

4.  It is beautiful.

Have I persuaded you yet?  Maybe not.  I guess I could elaborate more on my reasons-for the sake of argument:-))  So here ya go:

1.  It is native to my area.  Campanula americana is native to much of the Eastern half of the United States and parts of Canada.  It is found growing in woodlands, forest edges, and thickets from moist to dry locations.  It is an adaptable plant and grows well on disturbed sites.  And, as everyone knows, adding natives to your garden is good for nature which leads to the next reason. 

2.  It is a pollinator magnet.  If you are looking to attract pollinators to your yard and garden than this is the plant for you.  Many species of native bees, flies, and wasps seek nectar and pollen from this plant.  If you stand next to it when it is blooming you will see that it is swarmed by many varieties of bees from tiny to large.  Hummingbirds also visit this plant.  In my garden bumblebees spend an enormous amount of time on each individual flower for the nectar.  It is quite a show.
Bee on Campanula americana

Bee on Campanula americana

Bee on Campanula americana

Bee on Campanula americana

3.  Campanula americana is a annual/biennial and is very easy care. It grows in both dry and moist spots in my shade garden.  It will, however, be shorter in the dryer positions.  I have some that are 5 feet tall where it stays moist and in some positions under my pine trees they only get 2-3 feet tall.  Even when they reach a height of 5 feet they usually never need staking-they have a strong stem.  Another bonus is that they do not lean for the light like some taller plants.  They remain upright even at the edge of the shade.  Campanula americana is also easy to propagate-this is usually done from seeds.  You can just let them self sow or you can collect the seed and throw it down wherever you want them to grow.  You can also sow them in pots for planting out later.  I do a combination of all three-this allows me to have plenty growing in different areas rather than having them confined to one area.   I threw these seeds down last fall and they will bloom next summer:
Seedling of Campanula americana-they will bloom next year
These I let sow themselves in this position:

4.  It is beautiful.  The flower and plant are unique and beautiful.  It is also one of the few native woodland flowers to be blooming in the heat of July in my garden.
Campanula americana in my garden

Campanula americana
So, what do you think?  Have I talked you in to adding this plant to your garden?  I sure hope so-it would be a wonderful addition to any shade or part shade garden.   If you are interested you can find seeds for this native beauty at

I hope you enjoyed this post on one of my favorite native plants-Campanula american-if you have any questions or comment please feel free to leave them below.

So, until next time-Happy Gardening!