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Spiked Rampion

Phyteuma spicatum

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Campanulaceae (Bellflower)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Grassland, meadows, parks, riversides, roadsides, rocky places, wasteland, waterside, woodland.

White, 5 petals
Pyramid-shaped clusters of creamy-white flowers. 5 stamens. Flowers are rarely blue.
The fruit is a many-seeded capsule, 5mm long. The seeds ripen in August and September.
Dark green lance-shaped or heart-shaped leaves. The basal leaves are long-stalked and toothed. The upper stem leaves are shorter stalked and narrower. A long-lived perennial.
Other Names:
Spiked Horned Rampion.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Other Information


Phyteuma spicatum, also known as Spiked Rampion, is a perennial herb native to Europe and Western Asia. It typically grows in meadows, grasslands, and rocky habitats. It has a basal rosette of glossy, dark green leaves and a tall, spike-like inflorescence of violet-blue, bell-shaped flowers that bloom in the summer. It can grow up to 60cm tall. It prefers well-drained, nutrient-rich 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.


Spiked Rampion, also known as Phyteuma spicatum, is a wildflower that belongs to the Campanulaceae family. This plant is found in various parts of Europe and has been used in traditional medicine for its medicinal properties.

Description and Habitat

Spiked Rampion is a perennial herbaceous plant that grows up to 60 cm in height. It has a rosette of basal leaves and a stem that bears numerous small blue flowers that are arranged in a dense, spike-like inflorescence. The flowers bloom from June to August and are visited by various insects, including bees and butterflies. Spiked Rampion is commonly found in alpine meadows, forests, and rocky areas in Europe, and can grow at altitudes of up to 2,800 meters.

Uses in Traditional Medicine

Spiked Rampion has a long history of use in traditional medicine, and various parts of the plant have been used for their medicinal properties. The root of the plant has been used to treat coughs, bronchitis, and asthma, while the leaves and flowers have been used to relieve fever, headaches, and joint pain. The plant has also been used as a diuretic, to treat digestive disorders, and to promote wound healing.

Chemical Composition

Studies have shown that Spiked Rampion contains various chemical compounds, including saponins, flavonoids, and tannins, which are responsible for its medicinal properties. Saponins are known for their expectorant and anti-inflammatory effects, while flavonoids have antioxidant properties that can help protect against oxidative stress.

Conservation Status

Despite its historical use in traditional medicine and its aesthetic value as a wildflower, Spiked Rampion is considered a threatened species in some parts of Europe due to habitat destruction and over-collecting. In some countries, such as Switzerland and Austria, it is protected by law, and efforts are being made to conserve its populations.

Spiked Rampion is a beautiful wildflower that has been used in traditional medicine for its medicinal properties. Its chemical composition and potential health benefits make it an interesting subject for further research, while its conservation status highlights the need for sustainable harvesting practices and habitat protection.

Apart from its traditional medicinal uses, Spiked Rampion has also been used in culinary preparations in some parts of Europe. The plant is known to have a slightly bitter taste, and its leaves and roots have been used in soups, stews, and salads. The young leaves of the plant can also be eaten raw or cooked and have a taste similar to spinach.

In addition to its culinary and medicinal uses, Spiked Rampion also has ecological significance. The plant is a source of food and habitat for various insects and animals, including bees, butterflies, and small mammals. Its roots help stabilize soil in mountainous regions and prevent soil erosion.

However, the conservation status of Spiked Rampion highlights the need for sustainable harvesting practices and habitat protection. Over-harvesting and habitat loss can lead to a decline in populations, which can have a cascading effect on the ecosystem as a whole.

Spiked Rampion is a beautiful wildflower with a rich history of traditional use and potential health benefits. However, efforts need to be made to conserve its populations and ensure its sustainable use for generations to come.

Research on Spiked Rampion has also highlighted its potential as a source of bioactive compounds for various industrial and pharmaceutical applications. For example, studies have shown that the plant contains saponins that have potential as natural emulsifiers and foaming agents. Saponins have also been shown to have antifungal and antibacterial properties, making them a potential alternative to synthetic antimicrobial agents.

The plant's flavonoids have also been studied for their potential to inhibit cancer cell growth and reduce inflammation, making them a potential source of anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory drugs.

In addition to its medicinal and industrial potential, Spiked Rampion has also been used in folklore and literature in various parts of Europe. In some regions, the plant is considered a symbol of love and is said to have magical properties. It has also been featured in literature, including in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, who described it as "The Flower of Tinuviel" in his novel The Silmarillion.

Overall, Spiked Rampion is a fascinating plant with a rich history and potential for various applications in medicine, industry, and even culture. However, its conservation status must be carefully monitored to ensure that it can continue to provide these benefits for future generations.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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