Tall Bellflower, American Bellflower
Synonyms of Campanulastrum americanum (14) (Updated on 11-14-21 from Plants of the World Online: Campanula acuminata Michx., Campanula americana L., Campanula americana var. illinoensis (Fresen.) Farw., Campanula americana f. tubuliflora Fernald, Campanula asteroides Lam., Campanula declinata Moench, Campanula illinoensis Fresen., Campanula nitida Aiton, Campanula obliqua Jacq., Campanula pauciflora Lam. ex Steud., Campanula planiflora Lam., Campanula subulata P.Beauv. ex A.DC., Campanulastrum americanum var. illinoense (Fresen.) Mohlenbr.,Phyteuma americanum (L.) Hill
Campanulastrum americanum (L.) Small is the accepted scientific name for this species. The genus and species were named and described as such by John Kunkel Small in Flora of the Southeastern United States in 1903. It was first named Campanula americana by Carl von Linnaeus in the first volume of the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753.
As of 11-14-21 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online by Kew lists only one species in the Campanulastrum genus. It is a member of the plant family Campanulaceae with 98 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made by POWO.
The above distribution map for Campanulastrum americanum is from Plants of the World Online. Areas in green are where the species is native. The map on the USDA Plants Database is just a little different.
The map on iNaturalist shows where members have made observations. Anyone can join and it is a great website to confirm and share your observations. The maps on iNaturalist are continually updated as members post new observations.
THERE ARE SEVERAL LINKS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE FOR FURTHER READING AND TO HELP WITH A BETTER POSITIVE ID.
I found several Campanulastrum americanum (Tall Bellflower) growing along the Katy Trail that runs between my farm and Farrington Park. I had walked through the tall grass (for hay) to get to the edge of the south hayfield where I had been taking wildflower photos and I decided to climb over the fence and get on the trail to get back to the house.
Campanulastrum americanum prefer a habitat in light to part shade in fairly rich, well-draining, moist to slightly dry soil. They can be found open woods, woodland borders, along paths, stream beds, roadsides and ditches from the central United States eastward, and from the southern states up into Canada.
Normally, this species grows from a single stem but can have side branches. The stems can have ridges (grooves) and can be smooth (glabrous) or slightly hairy (pubescent. The hollow stems produce milky sap.
Leaves are arranged in an alternate manner along the stems, up to 6” long x 2” wide. The leaves are said to be lanceolate to oblong ovate, have short petioles (leaf stems) or may be sessile (no petioles). The petioles may also be winged. The leaves have serrated margins that with tiny hairs… The leaves, especially the veins, also have very tiny hairs giving them a slightly rough texture. When very small, plants produce a rosette of leaves that look kind of similar to Violas species with very serrated leaves.
The central stem terminates with a spike of flowers (raceme) that is around 24” long. Smaller secondary spikes may also grow from the axils of upper leaves.
Sometimes the simplest looking flowers are the most complicated to explain. Hopefully, I will find this species again in 2022 so I can take close-ups of the flowers to the explanation will make more sense. The blue-violet corollas have 5 lobes (similar to petals), more or less saucer-shaped, that are kind of wavy or twisted, and are around 1” across. The corollas are usually white toward the center. The corollas are subtended by a calyx tube with five very thin and pointed lobes that are spreading to reflexed. In the center of the corolla is a style (elongated portion of the pistol) that that gets longer and becomes S-shaped when the flowers open. The ovaries are 5-angled, the stigma is 3-lobed, and there are 5 stamens, ETC…
This species produces pollen before the flowers open (still a bud). The pollen is shed onto the hair of immature styles. Once the flowers open, pollen is transferred by long-tongued bees…
I need to remember to find these plants along the trail again in 2022 so I can take more photos. I alays take a lot, but sometimes not all the photos come out well…
I have enjoyed photographing and learning about the many wildflowers growing on the farm and other areas. My farm is in Windsor, Missouri in Pettis County (Henry County is across the street and Benton and Johnson aren’t far away). I have grown over 500 different plants and identified over 200 species of wildflowers (most have pages listed on the right side of the page). I am not an expert, botanist, or horticulturalist. I just like growing, photographing, and writing about my experience. I rely on several websites for ID and a few horticulturalists I contact if I cannot figure them out. Wildflowers can be somewhat variable from location to location, so sometimes it gets a bit confusing. If you see I have made an error, please let me know so I can correct what I have written.
I hope you found this page useful and be sure to check the links below for more information. They were written by experts and provide much more information. Some sites may not be up-to-date but they are always a work in progress. If you can, I would appreciate it if you would click on the “Like” below and leave a comment. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. You can also send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would enjoy hearing from you especially if you notice something is a bit whacky.
Some websites are using Campanulastrum americanum and some use Campanula americana...
FOR FURTHER READING:
PLANTS OF THE WORLD ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES)
INTERNATIONAL PLANT NAMES INDEX (GENUS/SPECIES)
USDA PLANTS DATABASE
MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN
ARKANSAS NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY
KANSAS WILDFLOWERS AND GRASSES
NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY
LADY BIRD JOHNSON WILDFLOWER CENTER
FRIENDS OF THE WILDFLOWER GARDEN
MARYLAND BIODIVERSITY PROJECT
NOTE: The data (figures, maps, accepted names, etc.) may not match on these websites. It depends on when and how they make updates and when their sources make updates. Some websites have hundreds and even many thousands of species to keep up with. Accepted scientific names change periodically and it can be hard to keep with as well. Some of the links may use a name that is a synonym on other sites. In my opinion, Plants of the World Online by Kew is the most reliable and up-to-date plant database and they make updates on a regular basis. I make updates “at least” once a year and when I write new pages or add new photos but I do get behind. We are all a work in progress. 🙂