Adenophora and Its Evil Twin Revisited

– Posted in: Miscellaneous

Campanula rapunculoides: Good looking but hardly innocent

Campanula rapunculoides: Good looking but hardly innocent

A while back I wrote an essay for Horticulture detailing my attempt to figure out the difference between ladybells and creeping bellflower, and I wrote up a blog post with additional information. Anne Larson, the Des Moines Gardening Examiner, has tracked down more information about these two plants, including how to determine if you really have ladybells. One expert she quoted said he has yet to find a bona fide Adenophora in the horticultural trade. You might want to read the article and check out your ladybells next summer.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

In the end, this may be the most important thing about frost: Frost slows us down. In spring, it tempers our eagerness. In fall, it brings closure and rest. In our gotta-go world–where every nanosecond seems to count–slowness can be a great gift. So rather than see Jack Frost as an adversary, you could choose to greet him as a friend.

~Philip Harnden in A Gardener’s Guide to Frost: Outwit the Weather and Extend the Spring and Fall Seasons

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katie May 22, 2010, 9:37 pm

Doesn’t ANYONE know how to get rid of the companula rapunculoides? Mine loves to grow into the roots of other plants and hide in their foliage. We have totally dug up beds to try and clean it out but it always comes back worse than before. SOMETHING must kill it.

Providence Acres Farm - Sheryl January 31, 2010, 4:29 pm

I can’t help it, I love any kind of canpanula. There are so many of them and they are all such great garden plants. Perhaps if it is cut back and not allowed to go to seed, it will behave itself.

I have had some horribly agressive, invasive plants over the years. I don’t find this one that bad.

Cool Garden Things January 9, 2010, 10:39 am

Ah yes…I can’t decide if I hate this plant…I tend to just round it up because of the way it spreads into my lawn. Nice blog!

Ilona November 26, 2009, 1:43 am

I wrote up a profile of Adenophora confusa, which is the way it was identified when I ordered it from WFF. I have good clay loam soil and it has never been aggressive for me. I’m not familiar with the evil twin…
.-= Ilona´s last blog ..Contorted Hazel =-.

eliz November 22, 2009, 11:33 pm

Oh yes. I know this plant (the bad one) well. I don’t really have the space to worry about it, but it runs rampant through our alley. I pick it now and then.

Ted November 18, 2009, 7:59 pm

Interesting – I thought I had both in my garden. The Adenophera I bought from White Flower Farm 12 years ago or so. It has never been aggressive in the least, either by seed or rhizome. In fact I’ve often wished it had a bit more oomph. The campanula came on a pass along plant. I weed it often and never let it go to seed so far it been supressed. I take care of several gardens where it was given free reign before my arrival – so I do know what a nightmare it can be. Everything is dormant now, but I’ll do some careful checking next fall. If my Adenophera is really a Campanula – I wonder what species – it certainly is not very rapacious.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter November 18, 2009, 4:14 pm

I just always assumed that Adenophora was a nasty thug. I’m always afraid of anything with the epithet, rapunculoides, which shares a root with rapacious, meaning greedy or ravenous.
.-= Mr. McGregor’s Daughter´s last blog ..Garden Wish List =-.

Garden Junkie November 18, 2009, 9:00 am

Oh no. I just posted a picture of my Adenophora for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. At least, that’s what I thought it was and what it was called when I bought it through mail order from High Country Gardens two years ago. It’s been quite well-behaved so I thought it was the “real thing” (in contrast to those dratted Cherry Bells in the front garden which took over most of the bed within 6 months!). But now I find out that it’s probably “campanula horribilis” as someone called it. After reading Anne Larson’s article I peeled a couple of flowers only to find a disk. Argh. So now what do I do – pull out a plant I adore (and that, so far, hasn’t spread much) or let it go and realize that I may be fighting it for years to come?!
.-= Garden Junkie´s last blog ..Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – November 2009 =-.

Anna/Flowergardengirl November 17, 2009, 6:38 pm

Kathy, I enjoy mysteries like this. I also enjoy stories about good plant intentions that good bad—like Kudzu that ate the South. Kudzu was suppose to help erosion and now we have it forming sculptures of green monsters as it covers trees, houses, power lines—
.-= Anna/Flowergardengirl´s last blog ..For 15 minutes, I’ve been listening to someone =-.