Fall Wildflowers of New England
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Harebell
Campanula rotundifolia
F. Campanulaceae
General Description:

The harebell is a relatively small plant that measures 15-50 cm. in height. It is most easily recognized by its small, radially symmetrical, blue, drooping, bell-shaped flowers and the milky sap exuded by its stem. Flowers are arranged singularly or in pairs along the length of a slender, brown-tinted stem. The slender leaves are arranged along the length of the stem. Often, broadly ovate, basal leaves are present.

Campanula rotundifolia
Flowers:

The radially symmetrical, nodding flowers of the harebell, measuring 2-3 cm in length, have a rounded, fused corolla that opens into five, slightly reflexed, pointed lobes. This blue or lavender bloom has a three-parted stigma, five stamens, and thin, green sepals.

Fruit:

The fruit of the harebell grows out of the flower into a nodding capsule.

Leaves:

The leaves of this plant are approximately 7.5 cm in length, are thin, tapered, and are arranged along the length of the stem. As indicated by the specific epithet of its scientific name, slightly larger, broadly-ovate, basal leaves are often present.

Habitat:

Harebell grows best on rocky banks and slopes, in open meadows, and along shorelines.

Fun Facts:

Other names attributed to harebell include bluebell and witches’ thimble.

The harebell served as the inspiration for this Dickinson poem

Did the Harebell loose her girdle
To the lover Bee
Would the Bee the Harebell hallow
Much as formerly?
Did the "Paradise" -- persuaded --
Yield her moat of pearl --
Would the Eden be an Eden,
Or the Earl -- an Earl?

.

Campanula rotundifolia
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