A stately plant of distinction, Campanula latifolia var. macrantha 'Alba' is an outstanding plant for the border with tall upright stems bearing large, pure white, trumpet-shaped blooms in summer.
It looks good towards the back of a border, in sun or partial shade, and works particularly well in cottage garden style planting, grouped or en-masse for best effect.
Growing to a height of 90cm (32in), with a spread of 40cm (16in), it is easily grown in any fertile soil in sun or light shade. Flowering from June right through to August, the large elegant white blooms are around 5cm (2in) in length and show up particularly well against its dark green leaves.
Campanula latifolia is a very hardy plant and can withstand temperatures down to minus 35°C (-31°F), it is also one of the most adaptable. It is a good plant for a wild or woodland garden or for naturalising in dry shade under trees. It can be used in a cottage garden scheme, in garden borders or on the terrace. The flowers are at their best when placed in a position where it will receive at least a few hours of sunlight each day.
Sowing: Sow in either late winter/late spring or late summer/autumn.
Sow either in September to October before the coldest part of the year or in February to April and plant out after all danger of frost has passed.
Sow the seeds into cells or pots containing good quality seed compost. Sow finely onto the surface and press lightly into the compost, but do not cover, as light aids germination of seeds. Place in a propagator or cover with a plastic lid and place in a warm place, ideally at 18 to 20°C (65 to 68°F).
Water from the base of the tray, keeping the compost moist but not wet at all times. Germination 14 to 28 days. Once some of the seeds have germinated air should be admitted gradually otherwise the seedlings may suffer damping off.
Once the seedlings have their first pair of true leaves (they come after the seedlings first pair of leaves) and are large enough to handle, Prick out each seedling into 7.5cm (3in) pots to grow on. Place in a position which receives diffused light.
Gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10 to 15 days before planting out after all risk of frost has passed into well drained soil. Plant 30cm (12in) apart
The ideal situation is in partial shade or sun, in fertile, neutral to alkaline soil that is moist but well-drained.
Protect the tender foliage from slugs and deadhead regularly. Bellflowers like some relief from intense sun and heat a dry summer may reduce or inhibit its flowering. If your garden is in full sun, apply a generous 5 to 7cm (2-3in) mulch of well-rotted compost around the base of the plant in spring and keep them well watered.
In exposed areas, stake with bamboo canes or brushwood in spring before the flowers appear.
Deadhead to prolong flowering. C. latifolia will self seed if not deadheaded, but are not a nuisance like some campanulas. They are easily curtailed after blooming as the blossoms are long gone before seed is set.
Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower Arranging, Flowers Borders and Beds.
Campanula latifolia var. macrantha 'Alba' is native to Europe and Western Asia.
Its flowers can be either lilac-blue or white.
The genus name Campanula is from the Italian campana meaning 'bell' and refers to the shape of the flowers. The word is from around 1630's, from Late Latin,campana, originally meant 'a metal vessel made in Campania,' the region around Naples. All Campanulas have bell-shaped flowers, although the flower forms vary considerably.
The species name latifolia (also latifolium or latifolius) means 'having wide leaves' .
The variant name macrantha means 'large flowered', from the Greek macro meaning 'large'.
The species latifolia is commonly called the Wide Leaved Bellflower, while latifolia var. macrantha is known as the Large Flowered Bellflower.
Another species has a very similar name, however the plants are very distinct, so are not easily mistaken for each other. Campanula latifolia, the Large Flowered Bellflower is distinguishable from its relative with its very large blooms, it is also about half the height of a mature plant of Campanula lactiflora, the Milky Bellflower.
The word 'alba' refers to the white colour of the flowers. It derives from the Latin word album for a ‘writing tablet’ now used to mean ‘white’ in reference to the tablets historically being white.
The National Collection:
In the UK the National Collection of Campanulas is held at Burton Agnes Hall in East Yorkshire and the National Collection of Alpine Campanulas at Langham Hall in Suffolk.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 100mg Average Seed Count 300 Seeds Family Campanulaceae Genus Campanula Species latifolia var. macrantha Cultivar Alba Synonym Campanula macrantha Common Name Large Flowered Bellflower. Other Common Names Wide-leaved Bellflower Hardiness Hardy Perennial Hardy to minus 35°C (-31°F) Flowers Pure White, large bell shaped. Natural Flower Time June to August. Foliage Narrow and glossy with a bright green appearance Height 90cm (32in) Spread 40cm (16in) Position Full sun or partial shade. Soil Easily grown in any fertile soil Time to Sow Late winter/late spring or late summer/autumn. Germination 14 to 28 days at 18 to 20°C (65 to 68°F).