The light blue flowers of the harebell, dancing in summer breezes on their fine, hanging stems, are amongst the most colourful sights encountered by walkers. The violet bell shaped flowers hang from erect stems with pointed leaves above kidney shaped leaves. Harebell it is a circumpolar species, which means it is found throughout northern latitudes of North America, Europe, and Asia. It grows in dry, grassy places, often on poor soil in sites scattered over most of Britain. Given the rich soil of a border its flowering will be even more pronounced. This old cottage garden plant is rich in folklore and loved by butterflies. They are the “bluebells” of Scotland, linked with magic in folklore and given curious names like 'witches thimbles', 'fairy bells' and 'old man’s bells'.
Sowing: Sow in either late winter/late spring or late summer/autumn. Sow either in Aug to Sept before the coldest part of the year or in Feb to Apr after all danger of frost has passed.
The seeds should be sown on the surface of the compost and not covered. The compost should be quite moist and we would recommend that you cover the seed container with a piece of glass or clear plastic and leave in a temperature of approximately 18°C (65°F) in a position which receives diffused light. Germination should occur between 14 and 28 days. Once some of the seeds have germinated air should be admitted gradually otherwise the seedlings may damp off.
Cultivation: When seedlings have their first pair of true leaves and are large enough to handle, transplant into 7.5cm (3in) pots. Pot on year-old seedlings and grow for another year before planting outside permanently.
Plant the tubers 3cm to 5cm (1in to-2in) deep in humus-rich soil under the shade of trees. Mulch annually with leaf mould to help prevent the tubers from drying out in the summer and from winter cold.
Plant Uses: Cottage/Informal Garden, Rock Garden or Wildflower Gardens.
Nomenclature: The genus name campanula is derived from the Italian campana meaning 'bell' and refers to the shape of the flowers. The word is from Late Latin around 1630's, 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 rotundifolia derives from the Latin rotundus around 1705 meaning 'rolling, round, circular, spherical, like a wheel,' and refers to the rounded foliage of the plant. The common name of harebell is given to Campanula rotundifolia in England, in Scotland it s known as the bluebell. The Scots call the English Bluebell (hyacinthoides non-scriptus) “The Wild Hyacinth” Other common names are: Thimbles. Wind bells, Witches' bells, St George's cup, Scotch bluebell, Scottish Bluebell, Lady's Thimble, Old man's Bell, Olympia Bellflower, English Harebell, Heath bells, Bluebell, Blawort, Cuckoo shoe
|Average Seed Count||No|
|Cultivar||Wildflower of the British Isles|
|Other Common Names||other|
|Flowers||Pale Blue in Summer|
|Natural Flower Time||No|
|Time to Harvest||No|
|Soil||Well-drained/light, Chalky / alkaline|
|Time to Sow||No|