A bell with many faces

Campanula (also known as Dalmatian bellflower) comes from a big family of more than 300 species (Campanulaceae). As you might have guessed, the botanical name is the Latin word for ‘little bell’. And this bell has a different chime everywhere.  



Campanula is a real summer flower that comes in white, pink and purple. The usually long stem bears a flower in the shape of… a little bell. During flowering the bells open further, but this punctual flower offers few other surprises. 


Did you know that the heroine of the Brothers Grimm’s fairy story Rapunzel is named after the German for rampion - a member of the Campanula family? But small beasts are also named after the campanula. What an honour! There’s a bellflower resin bee, a harebell carpenter bee and a bellflower bluntthorn bee. All these wild bees like the delicious treats that can be found in the fruit capsule. 


Campanula mainly occurs in the temperate mountain regions in the northern hemisphere. A number of familiar siblings of the Dalmatian bellflower are the harebell, the nettle-leaved bellflower, the creeping bellflower and rampion. There’s an enormous choice!