Campanula Cochlearifolia Fairy Thimble Bellflower

Campanula cochlearifolia (fairy thimble bellflower) flower stalks
Campanula cochlearifolia (fairy thimble bellflower) flower stalks

Campanula cochlearifolia (fairy thimble bellflower) is a dainty perennial with charming little blue flowers. It has been very hardy in zone 3, returning consistently after cold winters. The plants are covered in numerous blooms, that continue all summer and into fall. These dwarf bellflowers make an appealing sight in the garden.

Campanula cochlearifolia (fairy thimble bellflower) with Heuchera plant
Campanula cochlearifolia (fairy thimble bellflower) with Heuchera plant

The flowers are small bells with a scalloped edge, that hang down or outwards from slender flower stems. The effect of the little blue bells on diminutive plants is captivating. In the photo the bellflowers stand out against some green and silver Heuchera leaves.

Campanula cochlearifolia (fairy thimble bellflower) with Heuchera leaf
Campanula cochlearifolia (fairy thimble bellflower) with Heuchera leaf

This dwarf Campanula is about 10 cm (4 inches) tall, but the flower stalks rise to about 15 to 20 cm (6 to 8 inches).  The plants will gently spread outwards. Fairy thimbles make a fantastic edging plant for the garden, or an underplanting for taller perennials. They even bloom well in part shade. Because the plants are small, I like them in groups, forming a beautiful patch of blue flowers. Campanula cochlearifolia mixes well with foliage perennials or other bellflowers.

Campanula cochlearifolia 'Bavaria Blue' (fairy thimble bellflower)
Campanula cochlearifolia 'Bavaria Blue' (fairy thimble bellflower)

The above photo shows Campanula cochlearifolia ‘Bavaria Blue’. I added ‘Bavaria Blue’ this year, but I haven’t noticed much difference between these and the basic Campanula cochlearifolia. They seem about the same in their growth so far, and the colour is very similar. The ‘Bavaria Blue’ are a little taller, but that might be because of their culture before I got them. By next summer, I’ll see if they are still a few cm (inch) taller. I like the look of these plants in front of the silver foliage of Pulmonaria, since this shade of blue coordinates so nicely with silver.

Campanula cochlearifolia 'Elizabeth Oliver' double flowers
Campanula cochlearifolia 'Elizabeth Oliver' double flowers

The double Campanula cochlearifolia ‘Elizabeth Oliver’ is especially charming. The extra petals make this bellflower extra showy. The petals have a pale bluish lavender colour that is especially pretty. With the double flowers, these bellflowers are even more visible from a distance. The lighter colour of Elizabeth Oliver shows up well in the part shade from across the garden. This dwarf perennial has masses of these mini flowers over the foliage. You can read more information and see more photos of this double bellflower in this follow up post on ‘Elizabeth Oliver’.

Campanula cochlearifolia 'Elizabeth Oliver' (fairy thimble bellflower) double flowers
Campanula cochlearifolia 'Elizabeth Oliver' (fairy thimble bellflower) double flowers

These elfin plants look delicate, but they survive a zone 3 winter with no problems. The leaves are ready very early in spring, as soon as the snow melts, which helps the garden green up quickly. All of the fairy thimble bellflowers are charming plants with a dainty look, but are remarkably hardy perennials. These bellflowers produce a number of blooms, even in part shade. If you are looking for a dwarf plant for an edging, with blue flowers that are long flowering, the Campanula cochlearifolia are a great choice. This is a sweet little flower that you quickly become attached to.

There are more bellflower pictures in this previous post.

19 thoughts on “Campanula Cochlearifolia Fairy Thimble Bellflower”

    1. MNGarden, I’m not sure of how hot they can go. They have been very accommodating in my garden, and don’t needed coddling. It sounds like you are having a more comfortable summer this year.

      Kaaija, Campanula are one of my favourites. I like their long blooming time and pretty blue flowers. The cochlearifolia are particularly good looking, with the abundance of little bells suspended above the leaves.

    1. Sheila, they really are a sweet little flower, and I love the colour too. They are delicious with other soft colours. Some of the basic species C. cochlearifolia are planted with some white Campanula carpatica, and the blue and white look very fresh together. I have some ‘Elizabeth Oliver’ next to a group of dark blue bellflowers, which look really good together. I especially like them next to the Heuchera ‘Mint Frost’ leaves.

    1. Rebecca, these photos were taken between July 22 and August 1. They continue flowering, especially if I deadhead them. They slow down a bit with fewer flowers after the first flush, and then flower again. They flower into the fall usually. Last fall, which was warmer than normal, these, the C. rotundifolia and C. poscharskyana kept a few flowers into November.

  1. I enjoyed this post, and it makes me want to find some of those varieties for my little holes in the front of the bed by my house. The ones I have are the taller kind.

    1. Sue, these look great at the front of a garden bed. I have some next to the taller harebell (Campanula rotundifolia), and the single flowers are very similar, but the plants are more compact.

    1. Sweet Bay, those shades of blue are my favourite flower colour in the garden. These are one of the perennials that when you see them blooming, you get the urge to plant lots more.

    1. SchneiderHein, it’s unfortunate that the snails went after these plants in your garden, since they are such lovely flowers. The plants would look great in your woodland setting. I haven’t had a problem with snails yet, fortunately.

  2. My goodness! That ‘Fairy Thimble’ is certainly tiny – and very fetching. I love the fact that you’ve given us a reference for size with the heuchera. Are any of these invasive? At this size, I guess it wouldn’t matter! ;-) Where do you find them? I usually have to order online or from catalogs.

    1. Shady Gardener, it does spread out gradually, but it has never spread in an annoying way in my garden.

      I’ve gotten all of my C. cochlearifolia from local greenhouses at different times. I haven’t ordered plants online or through a catalogue yet, just seeds. I’m fortunate to have a fairly good selection from greenhouses here, at least at the beginning of the season. I might be able to get a wider variety of specialty plants through different sources, but I always like to check my plants over when I get them. Maybe I’m impatient and just don’t like to wait. :)

  3. Beautiful flowers, especially the double campanula. I am in CA and bought these plants at Trader Joe’s. Any info, where I could buy seeds/ plants of double campanula?
    Good luck with gardening.

    1. Ecoli, I got my double Campanula at a local greenhouse in Edmonton, so I’m not sure of other sources for the plants. Campanula ‘Haylodgensis’ is another double you might also like if you can source it. Its flowers are a little larger and bluer than Elizabeth Oliver.

  4. Yes I luv the new blue ones i have, campanula persificola.. they are supposed to be a good cut flower, but i am not sure where to cut them? They are so beautiful, I don’t want to hurt them , I also have the White Clips & there are a lot of buds, just wondered when they bloom or why they havent, yet? Thanks

    1. Elly, Campanula persicifolia are beautiful and you can cut the flowering stalks of them at the base. If you have lots of buds on your Campanula carpatica white clips, they should bloom very soon. I cut off the dead flower heads after they are done, and my white clips continue flowering all summer, right up until the fall frosts. I have different groups of blue and white versions of them and really enjoy them as an edging.

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