Milky bellflower is a bushy herbaceous perennial and a member of the Campanulaceae family that also includes balloon flower, lady bells (Adenaphora), and Lobelia.  It is native to Caucasus, NE Turkey, and NW Iran where it grows in forests, scrub, and subalpine meadows.  Plants are 3-5′ tall and have branching stems carrying sharply toothed sessile, narrowly lanceolate leaves 2-3″ long.  Terminal panicles 3-4″ long appear on each axillary shoot  in summer and bear  1″ long, bell-shaped flowers. The flowers are milky white to pale blue and last for 4-5 weeks.  Plants may need staking and should be cut back after flowering to control self-seeding and encourage a rebloom in the fall.  Milky bellflower does not do well in hot humid climates but is a good choice for a cottage garden in cool climates. The genus name, Campanula, comes from the Late Latin word campana meaning bell and refers to the form of the flowers.  The specific epithet, lactiflora, comes from Latin words lac meaning milk, and flora, meaning flower and refers to the color of the flowers.

Type: Herbaceous perennial

Bloom: Terminal panicles 3-4″ of 1″ long,  white to pale blue bell-shaped flowers in summer

Size: 3-5′ H x 3′ W

Light:Full sun to part shade

Soil: Average, consistently moist, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 5-7

Care: Stake when necessary; deadhead after flowering.

Pests and Diseases: Slugs, snails, vine weevils, spider mites, aphids, leaf spot, rust, powder7 mildew, Southern blight

Propagation: Seed, division in spring or autumn; basal cuttings in spring

Companion Plants:Red hot pokers, yellow daylily, sneezeweed, Salvia

Outstanding Selections:

var. alba (4-5′ tall, white flowers)

‘Loddon Anna (4’ tall, pale pink flowers)

‘Prichard’s Variety’ (3′ tall, violet blue flowers)

“Pouffe’ (1′ tall, pale blue flowers)


By Karen