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Meadowmat wildflower species: Clustered bellfower

Clustered bellflower (campanula glomerata)

The clustered bellflower is an eye-catching wildflower native to south and east England, and the south of Scotland. This herbaceous perennial is also the county flower of Rutland, England, and Kincardineshire in Scotland. In Rutland, sightings of this majestic purple wildflower are quite rare, which only adds to its status as a treasured native species.

purple flowering spike of clustered bellflower on white backgroundWhat does clustered bellflower look like?

The name Campanula glomerata perfectly describes this stunning purple wild flower, with "campanula" meaning small bell, and "glomerata" referring to the tight bundle of flowers at the top of the stem.

On summer days, these bright violet flowers can be seen craning upwards, held aloft by their eye-catching crimson stems. The individual flowers are between 2-3cm in size and cluster together in a tight bundle. The Campanula glomerata flowers between June and September – and sometimes as late as October – and provides a welcome injection of colour into any garden. Given its relatively short stature, coming in at just 20-60cm, it makes the perfect addition to the Meadowmat. It thrives equally well in the shade or in direct sunlight and being a hardy perennial, it will also fare well in a chalky or sandy soil.

Uses for Clustered bellflower

As the Clustered Bellflower features in the Meadowmat for Birds and Bees, you can guess that it's going to be very popular with any little visitors to your garden. The clustered bellflower features on the RHS perfect for pollinators list, meaning you'll be attracting bees to your garden in no time.

The Clustered Bellflower is a highly decorative flower which makes for quite the stunning display as part of the Meadowmat for Birds and Bees. In addition to being highly decorative, the leaves and flowers are also edible and make an interesting addition to summer salads. Although edible flowers might not be for everyone, the flowers can also be used as decoration in salads, or atop cakes and other desserts.

Some interesting folklore

In Cambridgeshire, the clustered bellflower was given a rather unfortunate nickname that would forever link it to thoughts of burial grounds and death. Wildflowers are often associated with graves and it was often said that they grow from the remains of the dead. In Cambridgeshire, it was thought that the crimson stem of the clustered bellflower was stained with the blood of Norsemen who were buried in the earth – and so it was named Dane's Blood, a name which has stuck with it to this day.

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