Northern Shade Gardening

Campanula Lactiflora Prichard’s Variety

Thursday, July 22, 2010 Category: Perennials
Campanula lactiflora 'Prichard's Variety' flower details

Campanula lactiflora 'Prichard's Variety' flower details

Campanula lactiflora ‘Prichard’s Variety’ (milky bellflower) has upward facing, open flowers of a blue lavender colour. It is one of the taller bellflowers, and has light, yellowish green foliage. These can be planted in full sun, but I’ve been pleased with the number of flowers mine develop in part shade.

Campanula lactiflora 'Prichard's Variety' flower closeup

Campanula lactiflora 'Prichard's Variety' flower closeup

The light violet blue flowers of ‘Prichard’s Variety’ are very attractive, and are held at the top of the plants. Each flower has five long petals that curve back away from the bell, with a small white centre.

Campanula lactiflora 'Prichard's Variety' flowers

Campanula lactiflora 'Prichard's Variety' flowers

The flowers of milky bellflower are similar to the dwarf Campanula portenschlagiana (dalmatian bellflower), but Campanula lactiflora holds their flowers much higher at the top of the upright stems, whereas the dalmatian bellflower has rows of blooms along the flower stems that radiate out horizontally along the ground.

Campanula lactiflora 'Prichard's Variety' with Geranium

Campanula lactiflora 'Prichard's Variety' with Geranium

When seen next to the Geranium ‘Rozanne’, ‘Prichard’s Variety’ are actually a bluish lavender colour, but on their own they look light blue. In the above photo, the geranium is showing its usual habit of weaving in between neighbouring plants. This trait can create some pretty pairings, and these two perennials look good entwined together. There is more about Geranium ‘Rozanne’ here.

Campanula lactiflora 'Prichard's Variety' lavender flowers

Campanula lactiflora 'Prichard's Variety' lavender flowers

The lighter coloured leaves of ‘Prichard’s Variety’ have a yellow cast to the green, so they would show up well next to darker foliage. Campanula lactiflora grows about 60 cm (around 2 feet) tall, with each plant producing a number of stems. At the back of the photo, are the silver leaves of Pulmonaria (lungwort), which also look good with the milky bellflower.

Campanula lactiflora 'Prichard's Variety' one perennial

Campanula lactiflora 'Prichard's Variety' one perennial

The above photo shows one milky bellflower plant, so  you can see that each plant gets a fair number of blooms. I planted mine last year, and each plant now has about 20 stems, with a group of flowers at the top of each stem. Campanula lactiflora ‘Prichard’s Variety’ is a pretty, easy care bellflower that will produce a good flower show in summer. You can read about more a variety of  Campanula (bellflowers) in this earlier article.

Campanula lactiflora 'Prichard's Variety' with Geranium 'Rozanne'

Campanula lactiflora 'Prichard's Variety' with Geranium 'Rozanne'

24 Responses to “Campanula Lactiflora Prichard’s Variety” »

  1. Rebecca @ In The Garden :
    July 22, 2010 at 8:58 am

    What a beautiful bellflower, and it certainly does look wonderful with Rozanne. I have never seen a Rozanne look so very blue, I find they often look somewhat muted. Great pictures & a lovely profile. :)

  2. Northern Shade :
    July 22, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Rebecca, it’s funny how colours can change in context, when seen next to other colours. The camera captured the colours of the flowers just how they look in the garden, too. Rozanne is a great weaving plant, and I really like it with ‘Prichard’s Variety’.

  3. debsgarden :
    July 22, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    I really like the combination of the milky bellflower and pulmonaria! My only complaint with the bellflower I grow is that it gets very tall and lanky and demands to be staked. But the color is wonderful.

    Thanks for commenting on my Snowflake hydrangea post. Regarding Lady in Red – It will bloom blue or pink depending on the acidity of the soil. Some of mine were the fabulous blue you saw in my post. Others were pink. All of them turn to rose in the summertime. Both photos on my post were from the same plant!

  4. Diane :
    July 22, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Oh, these are lovely photos. I always enjoy reading the information you give.

  5. Catherine :
    July 22, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    This is a really pretty Campanula, I’m not sure I’ve seen it before. It does look really pretty with ‘Rozanne’. It sure does get a lot of flowers, especially on such a new plant.
    BTW I found the fairy thimbles and planted one in my garden yesterday. It’s such a cute little flower.

  6. Northern Shade :
    July 22, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Debsgarden, that light shade of lavender blue goes well with silver, like the Pulmonaria. I’ve had these Campanula lactiflora for two seasons now, and they haven’t needed staking at all, even in part shade, which can often make plants floppier.

    Diane, this garden section is under a lilac, with three types of blue geraniums and the milky bellflowers, so they get lots of opportunity to mingle.

    Catherine, I’ve got three ‘Prichard’ Variety’ plants, with about 50 upright stems between them, and each stem has a cluster of flowers, so they put on a good flower display.

  7. Rose :
    July 23, 2010 at 7:19 am

    This is a lovely bellflower, and it looks so good paired with the other blue-flowering plants. Thanks for this info–I think I might just look for one to add to my shade garden next spring! Thanks for visiting my blog recently; your blog is lovely, and I always enjoy getting new ideas for staying in the shade.

  8. Northern Shade :
    July 23, 2010 at 8:40 am

    Rose, this bellflower can grow in full sun, but I’ve found that it gets a good number of flowers in part shade. I like the soft colour of ‘Prichard’s Variety’.

  9. Barbara :
    July 23, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Campanula do so very well for you. And I like them paired with Rozanne – nothing like expanding on a good colour theme. Met Michael Waterer in England just recently – Rozanne was named for his mother. I told him I’d had trouble with it at first, but now it’s doing really well & is used as a popular landscape plant in mass plantings – he said, “I hope they’re buying them in the hundreds! And, I’ll be sure to let mum know where they’re growing.” He’d no doubt be amazed just how far north this plant had been planted.

  10. Northern Shade :
    July 23, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Barbara, I like these Campanula lactiflora with Rozanne here, too. I have some Johnson’s Blue geraniums on the other side of them as well, but Johnson’s Blue gets floppier in the shade, or just in general. I have a group of about nine Rozanne geraniums planted here, going three quarters of the way around the lilac, and they make a nice display. They have been very hardy here through last year’s harsh winter, with no problems.

  11. The Garden Ms. S :
    July 24, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    What a pretty, airy bedllflower. They look like they would dance on top of the foliage. :)

  12. Northern Shade :
    July 24, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    The Garden Ms. S, the flowers are all at the top, so you could place shorter plants in front of them too.

  13. Linda :
    July 25, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    What a lovely pairing! I have both Rozanne and Pritchard’s but not next to each other. I’m definitely going to try this combo.

  14. Northern Shade :
    July 25, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Linda, I like the violet blue of the Campanula and the shimmery blue of Rozanne together. This is a good time for the many Campanula around the garden, with lots of shades of blue.

  15. Laura :
    July 26, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    I have this one and I love it! I call it my waterfall, as it cascades down a tall retaining wall. Great pictures! It’s colour is fantastic!

  16. Northern Shade :
    July 26, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Laura, it is a pretty light lavender colour. As well as the Geraniums next to them, on the other side of a narrow path are some Campanula ‘Summertime Blues’, which have a silvery blue colour.

  17. Judith :
    September 28, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    I am amazed that Geranium X Rozanne grows here in Edmonton. Everything I’ve read about it says hardy to Zone 5 only! And it’s such a pretty plant.

  18. Northern Shade :
    September 28, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Judith, this is the third season in the garden, and Rozanne is spreading beautifully, even after the cold temperatures of last winter. In fact, Rozanne is still flowering right now, at the end of September, after the first few frosts of last week. I should post some updated photos, as they have filled in to make a really nice carpet of blue flowers. Even in part shade, they are covered in pretty blooms.

    They get a bit of tree leaf cover over the winter for protection, from what falls on them in Autumn, but otherwise they are toughing it out on their own. Last fall I planted a few hundred crocus bulbs in between the Rozanne plants, and I hoped that the root disturbance wouldn’t set them back. However, they came up larger than the previous year, and the crocus plants made a nice early flowering patch, before the geraniums were up. Then as the geraniums grew, they hid the crocus foliage.

  19. trish :
    April 22, 2011 at 8:05 am

    Please note that Pritchard’s variety is not the light blue. There is the straight Campanula latifloria which is a light blue but Pritchard’s is a darker blue

  20. Northern Shade :
    April 22, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Trish, thanks for dropping by; it sounds like you are a Campanula fan, too. There are so many beautiful bellflowers, and they come in such a variety of species, making them easy to include in different sites in the garden. Plus those shades of blue and purple are so gorgeous.

    There is a Campanula lactiflora (milky bellflower) and a Campanula latifolia (large bellflower), but there isn’t a C. latifloria. These plants have all the characteristics of Campanula lactiflora. When I purchased them, they were identified as a ‘Prichard’s Variety’. However, sometimes plants do get mislabelled, and there is a chance they are another variety of milky bellflower, but they appear to be ‘Prichard’s Variety’. Pictures I’ve seen of ‘Prichard’s Variety appear a bit variable in colour.

    One thing I’ve noticed about observing and photographing blue and purple flowers, is that they can appear quite different shades in different light conditions. All of the blue and purple flowers in this garden section, including these flowers, the Geraniums that these are planted with, the Campanula ‘Summertime Blues’, the Phlox paniculata ‘David’s Lavender’, the Pulmonaria and others, will vary in their colour, depending on the position of the sun, low on the horizon or high in the sky, as well as whether it is overcast. Sometimes they appear more purple than blue, or lighter or darker shades at different times of the day. Also, they can appear to be different colours when the flowers first come out, compared to their aged colour. This might be affected by the amount of time they are exposed to the sun, too.

    I’ll take a close look at them, when they are in flower again this summer.

  21. Janet L. Wilson :
    February 28, 2012 at 9:24 am

    This is my favourite garden plant here on the west coast…it fairly glows on overcast days. I have had trouble getting it through the winter though, which is a problem with so few local sources of the plant. Perhaps in my garden its feet get too wet? Advice welcome!

    Regards,
    Janet

  22. Northern Shade :
    February 29, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Janet, it has been hardy here so far, and we usually get very cold winters. Mine get some winter cover from the nearby trees that drop their leaves and give some natural mulch. Have you tried taking cuttings to keep them going?

    I appreciate the way they are covered in those beautiful blooms, too. These intermingle at the edges with some blue geraniums to create a nice purplish blue cloud.

  23. estrid anker olsen :
    June 7, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Interesting to follow your comments on this beautiful campanula. I consider planting one or two in a border in partly shade here in Denmark. But I read somewhere that the plant seeds ‘freely’. What is your experience? Does it spread a lot?

    Regards
    Estrid

  24. Northern Shade :
    June 7, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Estrid, I haven’t had too much spread of the plants with ‘Prichard’s Variety’. It hasn’t been invasive in my garden. I’m not sure if other other varieties are different.

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