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Adenophora liliifolia

 
Common name ladybells
Family campanulaceae
Life cycle perennial
Flowers blue (June)
Size 2 ft
Light sun-part shade
Cultural notes ordinary garden soil
From seed germinate cold
detailed seed-starting info below

Pretty bellflowers on upright stalks. Too bad the plant we obtained (from a reputable online nursery, too) turned out to want to conquer the world by root. It was almost certainly the evil Campanula rapunculoides – which I have still not eradicated from the areas of the garden where it managed to get a foothold. For the distinction between the genera, try this test, taken from the Gardens North website:
About 40 species of hardy, summer-blooming plants native to Eurasia and Japan, similar to Campanula because of their nodding, blue, bell-shaped flowers. For full sun or part shade in average garden soils. Adenophora and Campanula are often confused Here is a simple test for distinguishing the two. Take a flower and gently pull off the petals, leaving the style standing in the center. You will be left holding the base of the flower with a bumpy appendage (the ovary) in the middle and the style sticking straight up out of the center. VERY CAREFULLY peel off the outside of the bumpy appendage, leaving the style standing. If underneath, all you see is a flat base to which the style is attached, then you have a campanula. If, however, you see, after the peeling, another bulb-like appendage surrounding the style, then you have an adenophora. An easy way to rogue out all those imposters!

I had a quite useful email conversation with a fellow gardener who's been doing some research on plants masquerading as adenophoras in North America. He concluded (and I concur) that nearly all plants that are billed as adenophora around here are actually C. rapunculoides – which is not nearly as much the case in Europe. This is convincingly illustrated by the Google image searches for Adenophora liliifolia in Europe and Adenophora liliifolia in the US. The plants aren't very much alike at all – and yes, I still want the real thing.

This plant used to grow in our garden, but it slipped away...

Read about my efforts to distinguish adenophoras from campanulas

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from NARGS '08/'09 exchange, stored cold over summer. Baggy 35F (100%G, 3-4w)


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common mis-spellings: lilifolia

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Last modified: June 30, 2016
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