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 persicifolia L. Subsp. sessiliflora (K.Koch.) Velen. ex Greuter & Burdet

Fully hardy clump-forming perennial with basal rosettes of lance-shaped, toothed leaves, to 12cm long, and short racemes of stalkless, shallowly cup-shaped, large, violet to blue flowers, to 5cm across in mid and late summer.  To 90cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘A finer acquisition to our half-hardy herbaceous plants has not been made for some time than the species of Bell-flower, now figured [Campanula grandis], supplies.  It has all the beauty of the favourite C. pyramidalis, and is even more shewy, on account of the larger foliage and the greater dimensions of the flowers. […] Of its native country we have no information.  It was sent to England from St. Petersburgh, with the name here adopted, and has blossomed in the garden of the Horticultural Society, and in the Epsom, Tooting, and other nurseries.’  [MB p.31/1843].  C. grandis was described but not figured in the Botanical Register as ‘very like a magnificent variety of C. persicifolia, with the flowers of C. pyramidalis.  The flowers are deep blue, of the form of C. pyramidalis, and between 2 and 3 inches in diameter.  There are few hardy herbaceous plants so handsome.’  [BR misc.41/1842].  C. persicifolia grandis, from Europe but possibly not identical, has been grown in Britain since at least 1596, C. grandis since 1842.  [JD].

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [H.39/1850]. It is possible that C. grandis and other species and varieties first listed in the catalogues in 1850 were obtained as seed from James Carter, Florist and Seedsman of High Holborn, with whom an order for 8 varieties of Campanula seed was placed on 8th of April 1846 [MP A2933-1, p.128].  It may have been obtained from James Backhouse as it was included among desiderata in a letter dated 10th April 1846, but was not recorded as arrived [MP A2933-1, p.136].


Published Feb 06, 2009 - 03:18 PM | Last updated Jul 16, 2010 - 10:50 AM

The plant illustrated has large cup-shaped, purple flowers and narrow leaves.  Paxton's Magazine of Botany p.31, 1843.

Campanula persicifolia L. subsp. sessiliflora (K.Koch.) Velen. ex Greuter & Burdet | MB p.31/1843 as C. grandis | RBGS

Family Campanulaceae
Region of origin




  • Campanula grandis Fisch. & Mey.
  • Campanula latiloba A.DC.
Common Name

Peach-leaved bellflower, Narrow-leaved bellflower

Name in the Camden Park Record

Campanula grandis 

Confidence level high