Even the least botanically instructed have little difficulties in recognising similarities between Symphyandrea and campanulas. They are kissing cousins in the bell flower family Campanulaceae.
As garden plants Symphyandrea are less well known than campanulas, but there is no reason that this should be. True, they are less magnificent than the showiest bellflowers, such as Canterbury bells, but they rival in display value, many varieties that gardeners cherish.
Symphyandrea pendula is one of the most beautiful of the species. Hardy perennial herbaceous plants with broad, heart shaped, toothed leaves, are long stalked and bright green. Growing to 24in (60cm) in height, it is distinguished by its prolific production of large, bell shaped blooms that are white and have recurved corolla lobes.
Because of their comparative rarity, Symphyandrea are most often accommodated in rock gardens and perennial beds that are given a little extra special care. Not that they are difficult to grow, quite the contrary, but they make the most appeal to keenly interested gardeners who like to watch their plants closely. Symphyandrea are hardy, succeed in sun or part day shade, and seem to find any ordinary well drained, reasonably moist garden soil agreeable. They take full shade and full sun in their stride and can handle drought beautifully.
Symphyandrea pendula keeps blooming for such a long period of time, and is so prolific in its flowers, it just may bloom itself to death. Which is more true than it sounds.
Often these plants behave as biennials and die after flowering, but this seems not to be a well-defined characteristic, but rather the result of exhaustion following heavy seed production. If all or most of the blooms are removed promptly as they fade, so that the amount of seeds they are allowed to develop does not approach that of their fullest capacity, they are likely to live long after blooming.
Even so, most are short-lived perennials and it is as well to keep young plants coming along to ensure succession. Seeds germinate readily and afford the most reliable means of multiplication.
They can be sown from spring through to autumn. Under fair conditions the plants will bloom the following year.
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 to 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. punctata will self seed if not deadheaded, but are easily curtailed after blooming as the blossoms are long gone before seed is set.
Cottage/Informal Garden, Borders and Beds, Lightly shaded woodland settings or naturalised areas.
Symphyandrea pendula is a species of bellflower native to the North Caucasus of Russia. This group is native to the Caucasus with an extension into Korea.
Symphyandrea pendula is so closely related to campanulas some taxonomists believe they should be in the same genus. It is a genus of 10 species in the family Campanulaceae are closely related to Campanula but having connate anthers (fused or joined in the same whorl), while Campanula species have separated anthers.
The genus name Symphyandrea comes from the differences between them and the campanula. For differences between them we look at the anthers. In campanula they are separate, in Symphyandrea they are united into a tube surrounding the style. This gives rise to their genus name, from the Greek symphio, meaning 'to grow together' and andros meaning 'anther'.
The species name pendula means hanging or pendulous, from the Latin pendere meaning 'to suspend'.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 100mg Average Seed Count 1,000 Seeds Family Campanulaceae Genus Symphyandra Species pendula Cultivar Alba Synonym Campanula ossetica Common Name Pendulous Bellflower, Ring Bellflower Hardiness Hardy Perennial Flowers Bell-shaped, white flowers. Natural Flower Time June to August. Foliage Triangular, serrated green leaves. Height 60cm (24in) Spacing 60cm (24in) 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).