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Manitoba Museum

Bluebell (Campanulaceae)


Campanula rotundifolia L.

The purple bell-shaped flowers of this perennial are attractive, but have no noticeable scent. They are pollinated by hummingbirds and bees, and also attract various fly species. Whether raw or cooked, the leaves are edible, and plants have been used by Indigenous people for medicinal purposes. They can become somewhat weedy as their seeds are easily dispersed by the wind.

Flower Colour:

  • Blue

Flowering Season:

  • Summer
  • Fall

Flowering Months:

  • August
  • July
  • June
  • October
  • September

Canadian Rarity Status:

Not rare. Listed as “sensitive” in Nunavut and as “may be at risk” in the Yukon.

Physical Appearance:

The mostly unbranched, slender stems grow 15-80 cm tall. Alternate stem leaves are linear with smooth edges, while stalked basal leaves are oval to heart-shaped with smooth to coarsely-toothed edges and senesce early. Bell-shaped, nodding flowers occur in small clusters on stems ends. Each flower has five united petals with outwardly curving lobes, a 3-lobed stigma, and a green 5-parted calyx. Fruits are nodding, oval-shaped capsules with numerous tiny seeds.

Similar Species:

Tall Lungwort (Mertensia paniculata (Ait) G. Don.)

Gardening Notes:

Seeds and/or plants are often available from greenhouses and seed supply companies specializing in native plants. They are easy to grow, and a good addition to bird, woodland, rock, and prairie gardens. They can be propagated by seed or by root/stem cuttings.

Canadian Distribution:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland/Labrador
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nova Scotia
  • Nunavut
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
  • Yukon

Prairie Types:

  • Fescue Prairie
  • Mixed Grass Prairie
  • Tall Grass Prairie


  • Forest Edges
  • Prairies
  • River Valleys
  • Rocky Slopes
  • Savannahs

Moisture Conditions:

  • Dry
  • Moderate

Light Preference:

  • Full Sun
  • Part Shade

Soil Preference:

  • Gravel
  • Sand