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Nettle-leaved Bellflower

Campanula trachelium

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Campanulaceae (Bellflower)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
75 centimetres tall
Scrub, woodland.

Blue, 5 petals
Mid-blue, bell-shaped. Individual flowers up to 3.5cm in size. 1-3 flowers appear together on a stalked spike, the top ones opening first.
A dry, hairy nodding capsule that splits open upon ripening.
Rough, irregularly toothed, pointed leaves which are paler beneath. The plant earns its name from the leaves, as they resemble, or at least look similar to the leaves of Nettles.
Other Names:
Bats-in-the-Belfry, Blue Foxglove, Coventry Bells, Our Lady's Bells, Throatwort.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Other Information


Campanula trachelium, also known as nettle-leaved bellflower or throatwort, 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 tall, upright stems with large, 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 trachelium.


Campanula trachelium, also known as Nettle-leaved Bellflower, is a beautiful and versatile perennial plant native to Europe and Asia. It is a member of the Campanulaceae family, which also includes other popular garden plants such as Canterbury Bells and Bluebells.

This hardy plant is known for its tall spikes of blue or violet bell-shaped flowers that bloom from June to August. The flowers are up to 1.5 inches long and are held on tall, slender stems that can reach up to 4 feet tall. The leaves of the Nettle-leaved Bellflower are long and narrow, and are a deep green color with a slightly rough texture. They resemble the leaves of a nettle plant, hence the plant's common name.

The Nettle-leaved Bellflower is an excellent choice for adding height and color to a garden border or as a focal point in a mixed perennial bed. It is also well-suited to naturalistic gardens, where it can be left to grow and spread on its own. The plant is tolerant of a wide range of soils and growing conditions, and is also resistant to most pests and diseases.

In addition to its beauty, the Nettle-leaved Bellflower is also valued for its medicinal properties. The plant has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, including respiratory problems, skin irritations, and digestive issues. The plant's leaves and stems are rich in compounds that have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, making it a useful herb in traditional medicine.

To grow Nettle-leaved Bellflower in your garden, choose a location that receives full sun or partial shade. The plant is tolerant of a wide range of soils, but prefers well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. To encourage a long bloom time, deadhead the spent flowers regularly and cut back the plants after blooming. The Nettle-leaved Bellflower will self-seed, so be sure to deadhead the flowers if you don't want the plant to spread.

In addition to its ornamental and medicinal uses, the Nettle-leaved Bellflower is also an excellent choice for attracting pollinators to your garden. The flowers are a popular source of nectar for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, providing a crucial source of food for these important insects. The plant's long bloom time, from June to August, ensures that pollinators will have a steady supply of nectar throughout the summer months.

If you are interested in using Nettle-leaved Bellflower for medicinal purposes, it is best to harvest the leaves and stems when the plant is in full bloom. The leaves and stems can be dried and used to make teas, tinctures, and other herbal remedies. It is important to note that the plant's leaves and stems can cause skin irritation, so it is best to wear gloves when harvesting and handling the plant.

The Nettle-leaved Bellflower is also a great choice for cut flower arrangements, as the tall spikes of flowers make a dramatic statement in a vase. The flowers are long-lasting and will remain fresh for several days when cut.

Overall, the Nettle-leaved Bellflower is a must-have for any garden that values beauty, versatility, and sustainability. Whether you're looking to attract pollinators, add height and color to your garden, or create a beautiful cut flower arrangement, this plant is sure to please.

Another great feature of the Nettle-leaved Bellflower is its versatility in garden design. It can be used as a background plant to add height and dimension, or it can be placed in front of shorter plants to create a striking contrast. It can also be used in a mixed border, where its blue or violet flowers will complement other colors in your garden.

If you live in a cooler climate, the Nettle-leaved Bellflower is a good choice for adding a touch of summer color to your garden. The plant is hardy in USDA zones 3-8, meaning it can withstand cold temperatures and snow in the winter months. In warmer climates, the plant may need some afternoon shade to protect it from the hot sun.

In addition to its beauty and versatility, the Nettle-leaved Bellflower is also an environmentally friendly plant choice. It is native to Europe and Asia, so it is well-adapted to local growing conditions and does not require additional water or fertilizer. This makes it an excellent choice for gardeners who are interested in reducing their environmental impact.

In conclusion, the Nettle-leaved Bellflower is a must-have for any gardener who values beauty, versatility, and sustainability. With its tall spikes of blue or violet flowers, deep green foliage, and attractive habit, it adds height and color to any garden. And with its medicinal properties and its ability to attract pollinators, it is a valuable addition to any garden that values wellness and environmental responsibility.


Nettle-leaved Bellflowers filmed in Siccaridge Wood, Gloucestershire on the 27th June 2023.


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