Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Campanula nobilis Lindl.

Nearly erect hardy perennial with underground runners, and few-flowered racemes with nodding, creamy bluish-purple or pink flowers dotted red within.  To 45cm.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘The spotting of the corolla, being on the inside, shews through rather faintly, but more evidently, when dried, than in the recent flower. […] A hardy perennial.  Native of Siberia; growing in the mountainous open country.’  [BM t.1723/1815]. ‘This very nice herbaceous plant was sent to the Horticultural Society by Mr. Fortune from China. […] Mr. Fortune has favoured us with the following additional note:-  “There can be no doubt that this species will prove as hardy in England as the common Canterbury Bell.  It is a great favourite with the Chinese in the northern parts of the empire.  The name it bears is the Tye-Chung-wha, or purple bell-flower, which coincides rather curiously with the “blue bells of Scotland,” a pretty name which we give to another species of the genus.  It was first found cultivated in the gardens of the Mandarins at Chusan and Shanghae, and subsequently in nurseries where it was grown for sale.  In the garden of the Horticultural Society it is found to grow freely in such soil and situations as are suitable to the more common species of the same family.  It is easily multiplied by dividing the roots in autumn or winter, when in a dormant condition.  It flowers in summer, and is a very nice addition to our fine flowering hardy herbaceous plants, and a fit companion to the favourite Canterbury Bell.” ’  [BR f.65/1846 as C. nobilis].

History at Camden Park

A handwritten note in an 1850 catalogue in the Mitchell Library collection is the only record.  [MP A2947A].  Almost certainly grown in the gardens at this time.


Published Sep 29, 2009 - 04:30 PM | Last updated Jul 16, 2010 - 10:45 AM

Figured are toothed leaves and nodding, purplish-pink bell-shaped flowers.  Botanical Register f.65, 1846.

Campanula nobilis Lindl. | BR f.65/1846 as C. nobilis | RBGS

Family Campanulaceae
Region of origin

Siberia, Japan

  • Campanula punctata Lam. 
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Campanula nobilis 

Confidence level high