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 latifolia L.

Erect, spreading perennial with lance-shaped, toothed leaves and loose racemes of funnel-shaped blue flowers in summer.  To 1.5m.  White-flowered forms occur naturally.  [RHSD, Hortus].  See also Campanula latfolia L. var. macrantha A.DC.

Horticultural & Botanical History

Two varieties of Campanula latifolia L. are figured in Curtis’s Botanical Magazine, the variety macrantha and the variety polyantha, described here.  ‘I am aware that Alphonse de Candolle in his valuable work on the Campanulaceae, as well as Dr. Sims, and lately even Dr. Fischer himself, are of opinion, that the present Bell-flower is only to be considered a variety of the C. latifolia; but on a careful comparison of the two, growing side by side in the Glasgow Botanic Garden, I cannot but look upon them as really distinct.  Besides the much larger and deeper colour of the flowers, the calyx is far more obtuse at the base, the leaves are much broader and coarser, and of a darker colour, and the whole plant is stouter and stronger.  That which I here consider the var. [polyantha] was received from Mr. Fischer the Gottingen Botanic Garden, and is certainly the handsomest of all the Campanulas, and the most worthy of a place in every collection, and in the borders of every shrubbery.  It was received with the name of “C. mucronata;” but as there is nothing mucronate about the plant, I am disposed to think that the word “macrantha” was intended to have been written.  It is a still taller plant than the C. latfolia L. var. macrantha, figured at t. 2553 of this work; the flowers are larger, of a bluer colour, and much more numerous upon the stem.’  [BM t.3347/1834].

History at Camden Park

Campanula latifolia was marked with a ‘c’, indicating grown at Camden, in an 1836 Loddiges’ catalogue held at Camden Park [CPA].  Certainly grown in the gardens from at least this time, probably earlier.


Published Feb 15, 2009 - 03:09 PM | Last updated Jul 16, 2010 - 10:49 AM

Depicted is a flowering spike with large, upright  purple bell-shaped flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.3347, 1834.

Campanula latifolia L. var. polyantha | BM t.3347/1834 | BHL

Family Campanulaceae
Region of origin

Europe to northern India, including Britain

Common Name

Bell flower

Name in the Camden Park Record

Campanula latifolia 

Confidence level high