Perennial or annual herbs, with alternate or basal leaves.
Flowers large or small, solitary, racemose, paniculate, or glomerate, regular, complete, flower
colors include blue, violet, or white and sometimes pink. Calyx-tube hemispheric, turbinate,
obovoid, or prismatic, adnate to the ovary, the limb deeply 5-lobed or 5-parted (rarely
3-4-parted). Corolla campanulate or rotate in shape with 5-lobed or 5-parted flowers that have 5
stamens, free from the corol, filaments usua1y dilated at the base; anthers separate. Ovary
inferior, 3-5-cel1ed; stigma 3-5-lobed. Capsule whol1y or partly inferior, crowned by the
persistent calyx-lobes, opening on the sides, either near the top, middle or bottom by 3-5 small
valves or perforations, or tending to be indehiscent (the fruits do not open and release the seeds) in some species. [Diminutive of the Latin
campana, a bell.] About 300 species, natives of the northern hemisphere. In Eastern North America 12 species are
native or have been naturalized, some 8 others occur in the southern and western parts of North
America; all known as ‘Bell-flower’. A large group of garden plants grown in the herbaceous
border or rock garden, many species from alpine regions of the world are loved by rock garden
enthusiasts. A large number of hybrids and cultivars have been produced. A number are grown as blooming pot plants and or cut flowers. All like full sun to
some shade, some are spreading or can self seed under garden conditions.