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Creeping Bellflower

Campanula rapunculoides

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:
120 centimetres tall
Fields, gardens, grassland, parks, roadsides, wasteland, woodland.

Blue, 5 petals
The inflorescence is a one-sided flower spike of pale blue, drooping, bell-shaped, or tubular flowers. White flowers are rare. The one-sided flower spike makes it readily distinguishable from other species of bellflower. Pollinated by insects.
The fruit is a brown, nodding capsule. The capsule has 5 pores at the base where the seeds can escape in order to disperse themselves. The seeds ripen from August to October.
The basal leaves are narrowly triangular in shape with a heart-shaped base and jagged teeth along the margins. The leaves measure up to 12cm (5 inches) long. The stem leaves are short-stalked and lance-shaped. Perennial.
Other Names:
European Bellflower, Rampion Bellflower, Rover Bellflower.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Campanula rapunculoides, also known as creeping bellflower or rover bellflower, is a species of flowering plant in the family Campanulaceae. It is native to Europe and Asia and is commonly found growing in grasslands, meadows, and along roadsides. The plant has slender, creeping stems with small, green leaves and clusters of small, blue or purple flowers. It is a popular garden plant and is known for its attractive flowers and ability to tolerate a range of growing conditions. There is not much information available about the potential medicinal use of Campanula rapunculoides.


Creeping Bellflower: An Invasive Plant Worth Knowing

Campanula rapunculoides, commonly known as Creeping Bellflower, is a fast-growing, invasive plant species native to Europe and Asia. With its vibrant blue flowers and ability to quickly colonize an area, it has become a popular ornamental plant in gardens around the world. However, its aggressive growth habits have also earned it a reputation as one of the most invasive plant species in North America.

Why is Creeping Bellflower Invasive?

Creeping Bellflower has the ability to spread rapidly through its root system, making it difficult to control once established. It also produces thousands of seeds each season, which are easily dispersed by wind and water. This combination of aggressive growth habits and seed production makes it a threat to native plant communities and the overall biodiversity of an ecosystem.

How to Identify Creeping Bellflower

Creeping Bellflower is a perennial plant that grows up to 4 feet tall. Its leaves are dark green, toothed, and heart-shaped. Its blue flowers are bell-shaped and bloom from June to September. The plant produces long, creeping stems that grow along the ground and take root at the joints, enabling it to spread quickly and form dense stands.

How to Control Creeping Bellflower

Controlling Creeping Bellflower can be a challenge, but with persistence and the right approach, it is possible to manage its spread. Here are a few methods for controlling Creeping Bellflower:

  1. Physical removal: Hand-pulling or digging up the plants before they have a chance to produce seeds is an effective control method for small populations. However, be sure to remove the entire root system to prevent regrowth.

  2. Chemical control: Herbicides can be used to kill Creeping Bellflower, but it is important to follow label instructions and avoid applying them near other desirable plants.

  3. Preventing seed production: Cutting off the flowering stalks before they produce seeds can help reduce the spread of Creeping Bellflower.

  4. Replacing with native plants: Replacing Creeping Bellflower with native plants that are well-suited to your area can help prevent its spread and promote biodiversity.

In conclusion, Creeping Bellflower is an invasive plant species that can be difficult to control, but with the right approach, it is possible to manage its spread and protect native plant communities. By understanding its growth habits and using a combination of control methods, we can help protect our natural ecosystems and preserve biodiversity for future generations.

Cultivation and Uses of Creeping Bellflower

Despite its invasive nature, Creeping Bellflower is still widely cultivated for its attractive blue flowers and ability to grow in a variety of soils. It is often used in rock gardens, along borders, and in naturalized areas. However, it is important to consider the potential consequences of planting this species in your garden and to choose alternative, non-invasive species instead.

Health Benefits of Creeping Bellflower

In its native range, Creeping Bellflower has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb. The roots of the plant contain a compound called rapunculoside, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, and anti-tumor properties. It has also been used to treat digestive complaints, such as indigestion and constipation. However, it is important to note that the plant can be toxic if consumed in large quantities and should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare provider.

In conclusion, Creeping Bellflower is an attractive, but invasive plant species with a rich history of medicinal use. While it may have some health benefits, it is important to consider the potential consequences of planting this species in your garden and to choose alternative, non-invasive species instead. By managing its spread and protecting native plant communities, we can help preserve biodiversity and maintain healthy ecosystems.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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