marsh bellflower

(Campanula aparinoides var. grandiflora)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

marsh bellflower (var. grandiflora)

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

OBL - Obligate wetland

Midwest

OBL - Obligate wetland

Northcentral & Northeast

OBL - Obligate wetland

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

Common

Habitat

Wet. Sedge meadows, marshes, bogs, calcareous fens,and coniferous swamps. Full sun.

Flowering

July to September

 
Flower Color

Pale blue to almost white

 
Height

6 to 36 (see Comments below)

 

Identification

This is a 6 to 36 tall perennial forb that rises from slender underground stems (rhizomes) very shallow roots.

The stems are weak, loosely spreading, and usually reclining on or tangled with adjacent vegetation. They are often somewhat 3-angled and are sparingly branched toward the top. They are slightly rough to the touch due to short, stiff, downward-curved hairs.

The leaves are alternate, linear, and ¾ to 3½ long, on average 12 times as long as wide. They become gradually shorter as they ascend the stem. They are attached to the stem without a stalk. They are angled or tapered at the base and short-tapered to a point at the tip. They are rough to the touch with short, stiff, backward-curved hairs along the margins and on the midvein on the underside. The margins sometimes have a few minute teeth.

The inflorescence is a solitary flower on a long, slender stalk at the end of the stem and each branch.

The flowers are funnel-shaped to more-or-less bell-shaped and 3 16 to ½ long. There are 5 sepals, 5 petals, 5 stamens, and 1 style. The sepals (calyx) are green, fused at the base into a 1 32 to 1 16long tube, then separated into 5 equal, triangular to lance-shaped, 1 32 to 1 16long lobes. The petals are pale blue to almost white. They are fused at the base into a 1 32 to 1 16long tube, then separated into 5 equal, to 5 16 long lobes. The filaments on the stamens are dilated and hairy at the base. The style is 1 32 to 1 16long at flowering time and has a usually 3-lobed stigma at the tip.

The fruit is an inversely egg-shaped to nearly globe-shaped, to 3 16 long and wide capsule.

 
Similar
Species

Marsh bellflower (Campanula aparinoides var. aparinoides) leaves are lance-shaped, shorter, and broader, no more than 2 long and about 6 times as long as wide. The corolla is slightly smaller, no more than long. The fruit capsule is smaller, no more than 1 16 long and wide. This is the southern variety. It is much less common in Minnesota.


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 4, 7, 29.


Comments

Plant Height
Marsh bellflower has a weak stem and usually relies on adjacent plants for support. The literature for this species gives its height as 20 (Yatskievych42) or 24 (Chadde62). Online Virtual Flora of Wisconsin has it at up to 36 tall. Based on personal sightings, MinnesotaSeasons.com agrees with the latter source.


Taxonomy

Family:

Campanulaceae (bellflower)

 

Subfamily:

Campanuloideae

 
Parent

marsh bellflower (Campanula aparinoides)

 
Synonyms

Campanula aparinoides var. uliginosa

Campanula uliginosa

 
Common
Names

marsh bellflower

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Calyx

The group of outer floral leaves (sepals) below the petals, occasionally forming a tube.

 

Filament

On plants: The thread-like stalk of a stamen which supports the anther. On Lepidoptera: One of a pair of long, thin, fleshy extensions extending from the thorax, and sometimes also from the abdomen, of a caterpillar.

 

Rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

 

Sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

       

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  marsh bellflower (var. grandiflora)   marsh bellflower (var. grandiflora)
       
  marsh bellflower (var. grandiflora)    
       
       

 

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