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Round-headed Rampion

Phyteuma orbiculare

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Campanulaceae (Bellflower)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
1 metre tall
Gardens, grassland, meadows, roadsides, rocky places, scrub.

Blue, many petals
The flowers are deep blue (almost purple), appearing inside round heads, 1 or 2cm across. A flowerhead is composed of 15 to 30 long, narrow flowers. The flowers curve upwards and inwards. 5 stamens. Pollinated by insects.
The fruit is a many-seeded capsule. The seeds ripen in August and September.
A perennial flower with a single, hairless, erect stem. The leaves are variable but generally oval in shape. The lower leaves are long-stalked and the upper leaves are the narrowest.
Other Names:
Horned Rampion, Pride of Sussex, Round-headed Horned Rampion.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Phyteuma orbiculare, also known as Round-headed Rampion, is a perennial herb native to Europe and Western Asia. It typically grows on rocky, calcareous soils, such as grasslands, meadows, and rocky slopes. It has a basal rosette of glossy, dark green leaves and a tall, spike-like inflorescence of blue, bell-shaped flowers that bloom in the summer. It can grow up to 1m tall. It prefers well-drained, rocky soils and full sun. It is considered as a rare and endangered species in some parts of its native range. It is also used as an ornamental plant and the nectar-rich flowers are a good source of food for pollinators.


Round-headed Rampion, also known as Phyteuma orbiculare, is a beautiful perennial plant that is native to Europe. It belongs to the Campanulaceae family, which includes many other popular garden plants like Campanula and Lobelia. Round-headed Rampion is a tall, clump-forming plant that can reach a height of up to 1 meter, making it an impressive addition to any garden.

The most distinctive feature of Round-headed Rampion is its round, blue-violet flower heads, which are usually 3-4 cm in diameter. These flower heads consist of many small, individual flowers, each with five petals. The flowers bloom from late spring to early summer and are very attractive to bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.

The leaves of Round-headed Rampion are lance-shaped and grow in a basal rosette, forming a neat, compact mound. The leaves are dark green and glossy, adding to the plant's overall beauty.

Round-headed Rampion prefers a moist, well-drained soil and partial shade. It can grow in full sun but will require regular watering to prevent the soil from drying out. The plant is relatively low-maintenance, requiring only occasional watering during dry spells and a light application of fertilizer in early spring.

Propagation of Round-headed Rampion can be done through division or by sowing seeds. Division should be done in early spring or fall, while seeds can be sown in spring or early summer. The plant can also self-seed, although this can sometimes lead to overcrowding.

Round-headed Rampion has many uses in the garden. It looks great in mixed borders or planted in groups, where its tall, spiky stems and beautiful flowers can be fully appreciated. The plant can also be grown in pots or containers, although it may require staking to prevent it from toppling over.

In addition to its ornamental value, Round-headed Rampion has some medicinal properties. It has been traditionally used as a diuretic and as a treatment for urinary tract infections. The plant is also said to have anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to treat joint pain.

Round-headed Rampion is a beautiful and easy-to-grow plant that can add color and interest to any garden. Its striking blue-violet flowers and glossy leaves make it a standout plant, while its low-maintenance requirements make it a great choice for novice gardeners. Whether you're looking for an ornamental plant or a medicinal herb, Round-headed Rampion is definitely worth considering.

One of the interesting things about Round-headed Rampion is its cultural significance in Europe. In some areas, the plant is considered a symbol of love and fidelity. It is said that if a man presents a woman with a bouquet of Round-headed Rampion, it is a sign of his devotion and faithfulness. In other parts of Europe, the plant has been associated with witchcraft and magic, and has been used in spells and potions.

Round-headed Rampion has also been the subject of some conservation efforts. The plant is listed as a protected species in some European countries, as it has become rare in the wild due to habitat loss and overcollection. In some areas, it is now only found in isolated pockets of meadows and grasslands, making it a valuable and important plant to preserve.

In terms of gardening, Round-headed Rampion can be paired with other plants to create a stunning display. Its tall, spiky stems make it an excellent companion for other tall perennials like Delphiniums and Lupins. It also looks great when planted alongside grasses and other foliage plants, which can provide a contrasting texture and color to the plant's striking flowers.

In terms of care, Round-headed Rampion is relatively low-maintenance. However, like most plants, it can be susceptible to certain pests and diseases. Slugs and snails are known to enjoy feeding on the leaves, while powdery mildew can sometimes affect the plant in humid conditions. Regular monitoring and proper cultural practices can help prevent these issues.

Round-headed Rampion is a stunning plant that can add a touch of elegance and beauty to any garden. Whether grown for its ornamental value or for its medicinal properties, it is a plant that is well worth considering for your garden.

Round-headed Rampion also has cultural significance in art and literature. It has been a popular subject in botanical illustrations, with many artists capturing the beauty of the plant's flowers and leaves. The plant has also been mentioned in various works of literature, including the novels of Thomas Hardy. In his novel, "Two on a Tower", Hardy wrote about the "deep blue bells of the Rampion" and their alluring beauty.

In addition to its beauty and cultural significance, Round-headed Rampion has some practical uses as well. In traditional medicine, the plant has been used to treat respiratory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis. It has also been used as a diuretic and to treat digestive issues. However, it is important to note that these uses have not been extensively studied, and the plant should not be used without consulting a healthcare professional.

One of the benefits of growing Round-headed Rampion in your garden is that it can attract beneficial insects like bees and butterflies. These pollinators are important for the health of your garden, as they help to fertilize your plants and ensure a good harvest. By planting Round-headed Rampion, you can create a welcoming environment for these helpful insects, which can also help to support the local ecosystem.

In terms of design, Round-headed Rampion can be used in a variety of ways. It can be grown in a mixed border, where it can be paired with other plants of similar height and color. It can also be used as a specimen plant, where it can be grown on its own and allowed to take center stage. The plant can also be used in a cottage garden, where it can add a touch of old-fashioned charm to the landscape.

Overall, Round-headed Rampion is a versatile and beautiful plant that can be a valuable addition to any garden. With its striking blue-violet flowers, glossy leaves, and cultural significance, it is a plant that can be appreciated on many levels. Whether grown for its ornamental value or its medicinal properties, Round-headed Rampion is a plant that is well worth considering.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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