Campanula Portenschlagiana Hoffman’s Blue Bellflower

Campanula portenschlagiana 'Hoffman's Blue' bellflower 02
Campanula portenschlagiana 'Hoffman's Blue' bellflower 02
Campanula portenschlagiana 'Hoffman's Blue' bellflower 03
Campanula portenschlagiana 'Hoffman's Blue' bellflower 03
Campanula portenschlagiana 'Hoffman's Blue' bellflower 04
Campanula portenschlagiana 'Hoffman's Blue' bellflower 04
Campanula portenschlagiana 'Hoffman's Blue' bellflower 05
Campanula portenschlagiana 'Hoffman's Blue' bellflower 05
Campanula portenschlagiana 'Hoffman's Blue' bellflower 06
Campanula portenschlagiana 'Hoffman's Blue' bellflower 06
Campanula portenschlagiana 'Hoffman's Blue' bellflower 07
Campanula portenschlagiana 'Hoffman's Blue' bellflower 07
Campanula portenschlagiana 'Hoffman's Blue' bellflower 01
Campanula portenschlagiana 'Hoffman's Blue' bellflower 01

The beautiful Campanula portenschlagiana ‘Hoffman’s Blue’ (Hoffman’s Blue dalmatian bellflowers) are covered in violet blue flowers now. They are a very floriferous bellflower, even in a shady area. I have a long patch of this perennial all the way down the side of my house, so I’ve taken pictures  along the way to show you what a beautiful carpet of flowers they make. You can read and stroll part way along. The purple blue carpet continues for 12 metre (39 feet).

The open bells of this dalmatian bellflower face the sky, so you can see the lovely structure of the curving petals easily, and the inside of the bell. The flowers last about a month, and give a terrific show while in bloom. You can see in the photos that there is hardly any green leaf showing when they are in full bloom, just a blanket of beautiful colour in the shade.

The bees like to visit these flowers. There is a constant buzz as I walk along the side pathway. It is difficult to take a picture without a bee in it. Bees are attracted to bellflowers, and they especially congregate along this patch. I particularly enjoy watching them squeeze their fat bodies into the bells.

After the flowers are finished,  the dalmatian bellfllowers form a thick groundcover, that few weeds will grow through. There were maple keys here earlier, that I meant to get back and weed, but then the bellflowers filled out and suppressed most of the maple seedlings. I wouldn’t plant it next to delicate plants, but it works very well against the house foundation. I’ve read that Campanula portenschlagiana might be too vigorous in some areas, but I’ve had no problem with them here. Possibly ‘Hoffman’s Blue’ is more well behaved, or the zone 3 climate keeps them well behaved. I’ve also had no problem with them seeding to other areas like the Campanula glomerata (clustered bellflower) do.

These ‘Hoffman’s Blue’ bellflowers are  squeezed in between the cement house foundation and a cement walkway, and have filled the narrow shady area. They even flower up and against the cement wall, and drape a bit to soften the sidewalk edge. The plants are about 15 to 20 cm (6 to 8 in) tall when in bloom.

There is very little maintenance required for these perennials. You don’t even have to cut back the foliage in the fall. They are mostly evergreen, and the new growth hides the older foliage. It is very uplifting to see some green leaves as soon as the first snow melts in spring, and most of the landscape is still a dull tan. I give them some supplemental water, especially when they are flowering, but otherwise they look after themselves.

You can read more information and see more pictures in this previous post about these Campanula.

Campanula portenschlagiana ‘Hoffman’s Blue’ makes an excellent groundcover, requiring very little maintenance. For 4 to 6 weeks they are completely covered in the gorgeous bluish purple flowers, and abuzz with bees.

24 thoughts on “Campanula Portenschlagiana Hoffman’s Blue Bellflower”

  1. How lovely! And I really like the ‘low maintainance’ part. I also like that they last so long…..I will see if I can get some for my walkway.

    1. Diane, sometimes they flower intermittently after the main flower show. I’ve found them very easy care, and have never had to clean up the foliage.

  2. Gorgeous! You say these flower well in shade, but do they flower well in a fair amount of deep shade? I would love to put them in front of my house which is North/North Eastern facing – along my pathway. I will have to see what other colors are available for me here in New Brunswick!

    1. Monica, I have a small section that gets almost no direct sunlight, and they flower, but not quite as well as the parts that get an hour or two of direct light. The whole grouping is situated between the houses, and under the roof overhang, which is a tough area for many plants.

  3. Hi Northern, Funny coincidence, I just got my July issue of Gardens West, and there is a 2 page article on the Campanula family, thought you might be interested. :)

    (as for the bees, perhaps they would appreciate a sign, to welcome them. :) )

  4. They are so lovely! I have the same plant here, but mine stands in the sun all day long. They can live in different places. Nice photoes of them :)

  5. Hi Northern Shady! ;-) These flowers are so brilliant and full. What a pleasure to be able to enjoy them . . . and allow them free reign. I’m thinking about where I might be able to let them grow and go! ha. They’re certainly beautiful.

    1. Shady Gardener, I was going to include more photos for a longer path, but ended up stopping at the bottom of the writing. :) I really enjoy walking down this side pathway right now, with the Campanula in bloom.

  6. Gorgeous colour! I have one similar to that. It trails down the rocky wall of my garden. I know it’s in the Campanula family, but I’m not sure of the variety. I call it my waterfall, as the blooms are so thick! One of my favorite parts about this perennial is it semi evergreen status. Your right, they look good almost all year round!

    1. Laura, some of the dwarf Campanula are terrific for draping over walls and rocks. Another similar one is Campanula poscharskyana (Serbian bellflower). There is even a variety of that one called ‘Blue Waterfall’. :) Its flowers are a little more star shaped. In late fall and early spring, it is nice to have some extra green in the garden from the semi-evergreen leaves like these..

    1. Joanne, the petals spread a little wider than some Campanula, so the flowers cover the top of the plant well. It drapes, but not as much as Campanula poscharskyana (Serbian bellflower).

  7. Hi Northern Shade:

    What a beautiful sight!! I was just given 2 of these plants yesterday and cannot wait to plant them in my flower bed.

    1. Sherry, this bellflower is very easy to look after, and gives a lot of flowers for its size. I’ve read that in some climates it can spread a bit, but I haven’t had any problems with it, and you can see how a carpet of it really livens up the site. The bees appreciate it, too.

  8. Beautiful! These are one of my absolute favourites.
    I bought one plant last august, to see how it would do in my setting (I’m on the south coast of England).
    I have it in a smallish pot (2l maybe) hanging halfway up my trellis and because it was only the one plant I’ve been able to deadhead it frequently. Amazingly that kept it flowering continuously all the way into January this year, when we had the first proper frosts. It had a little break and is now producing masses of buds again. Can’t wait till they open. :)
    In the meantime I have bought two more, which are already in bloom. They have certainly passed their test run and will get prime spots and more room to roam this year – they deserve it. Love purple, love bees, love campanula! :)
    Thanks for the great article!

    1. Jules, I’m a big fan of this Campanula, too. They have been very easy to care for, and earn a space in the garden with their incredible number of blooms. They have made a great edging for my walkway, and look good billowing along the edge all the way along.

  9. Just bought 15 of these. So excited to see how they do in South Carolina. Beautiful, could not resist buying them!!

    1. Susan, I’m sure that the Campanula will put on a good display for you. These bellflowers get a large number of blooms, and are easy to look after. 15 of the plants will make a nice section in the garden, and their flowers should be very noticable.

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