What is the bellflower family?

The balloon flower Platycodon grandiflorus is a member of the bellflower family
The balloon flower (Platycodon grandiflorus) is a member of the bellflower family.

The bellflower family is a family of plants. Its botanical (“Latin”) name is Campanulaceae. This family currently* consists of 92 genera (source). These genera are said to contain between 2000 and 2300 species.

swamp isotome Isotoma fluviatilis
Swamp isotome (Isotoma fluviatilis)

The family includes shrubs and trees. As well as perennials and annuals. Succulents and aquatic plants are also part of it.

bonnet bellflower Codonopsis clematidea
Bonnet bellflower (Codonopsis clematidea)

The diversity of growth forms shows that plants in this family have had to adapt to very different habitats. Depending on the species, they can grow in dry, humid, tropical or temperate environments. They are widespread and can be found on all continents.

peach leaved bellflower Campanula persicifolia
Peach leaved bellflower (Campanula persicifolia)

The genus Campanula

The bellflowers, i.e. the species of the genus Campanula, are the best known members of the Campanulaceae family and are one of the most popular perennial plants in the garden. This popularity is due not only to their attractive, usually bell-shaped flowers, but also to their robustness. This cannot be said for all species, but at least the ones presented here can be described as easy to care for.

creeping bellflower Campanula rapunculoides
Creeping bellflower (Campanula rapunculoides)

Depending on the species, members of this genus are suitable for sunny to shady spots, beds, dry borders and even rock gardens.

wall bellflower Campanula portenschlagiana
Wall bellflower (Campanula portenschlagiana)

A wide range of species and cultivars are available from nurseries and garden centres, flowering in white, blue to violet, pink and even yellow.

clustered bellflower Campanula glomerata
Clustered bellflower (Campanula glomerata)