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Botanical Latin: Adenophora

Adenophora liliflora

Adenophora liliflora

Adenapora (A den OFF or a) derived from Greek aden meaning gland and phoro meaning bear

The members of the genus, Adenophora, are herbaceous perennials that have a sticky nectary around the base of their style, which accounts for the botanical name. Known as ladybells, this genus is in the Campanulaceae, or bell flower family, and has about 62 species two of which are considered good garden plants. Most are native to Asia (a few come from Central Europe) and are more heat tolerant than other members of the Companulaceae family. Adenophoras generally have upright slender branched stems, and nodding bell-shaped blue flowers.

Adenophora confusa

Adenophora cnfusa

Two species are available. Common ladybell (A. confusa) is a native of China and the most popular ladybell with its deep blue flowers ¾” long appearing in loose panicles in early summer and lasting two to three weeks. It is 2-2 ½’ tall and has deep fleshy roots that don’t like to be disturbed. Lilyleaf ladybell (A. lilfolia) a European species, is shorter (2’) has narrower leaves and light blue to white flowers. It is more heat tolerant than A. confusa and a better choice for southern gardens.