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Bellflower (Campanula)—W.H. Hodge
Any of about 300 annual, perennial, and biennial herbaceous plants of the genus Campanula (family Campanulaceae) that bear bell-shaped, usually blue, flowers. They are native mainly to northern temperate regions in both hemispheres, Mediterranean areas, and tropical mountains. Distribution and habitat may be quite diverse. Species native to northern Eurasia and eastern North America but also grown in gardens are the bluebell (C. rotundifolia) and the tall bellflower (C. americana). The creeping bellflower (C. rapunculoides) is a notorious garden weed. Among the few food plants in the bellflower family, which includes a total of 84 genera and 2,400 species, are the rampion (C. rapunculus), eaten as a vegetable in parts of Europe, and some robust membersespecially Canarina, Clermontia, and Centropogonthat produce edible berries.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on bellflower, visit Britannica.com.