Campanula takesimana

Scientific name: Campanula takesimana

Author: Takenoshin (Takenosin) Nakai 1882-1952

Common name: Korean Bellflower

Family: Campanulaceae



Campanula takesima   


These dainty bells, held aloft a carpet of fresh-green leaves, will greet you at the upper entrance to the Plant Explorersí Walk and accompany your stroll through this shady section of the Garden. They belong to Campanula takesimana,  Korean Bellflower, from Ullungdo Island.

A steep, rugged, extinct volcano with a mild, humid climate, and 1300 mm annual rainfall, Ullungdo Island had a heavy timber covering with a bamboo understorey. It is much closer to Korea than neighbouring Japan which once  claimed it. The Japanese name, Takeshima, may offer a clue as to the name conferred by Takenoshin Nakai when describing this species in 1922.

There is much literature to describe others of the 300 or so members of this genus but little for our feature plant which is closely related to Campanula punctata from Japan. The few references that do exist allude to invasive characteristics so, as a botanic garden, we will monitor this species carefully and pay heed to the wisdom of others such as these Seattle gardeners:

'It is potentially aggressive with its underground rhizomes. It is best not to let it go to seed, so that its spread remains controllable, though its primary spread will be rhizomes even if it is not deadheaded.'

Perhaps the altitude of Mount Tomah and attendant winter frosts will hold this species in check, enabling a horticultural display that promises delight each year at this time.