Alpine Garden Society

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Campanula fragilis

Campanula fragilis Campanula fragilis comes from central and southern Italy where it grows on coastal limestone rocks in partial shade. It makes a woody rootstock from which it sends up tufts of deep green, ovate, very hairy, crenate leaves. The numerous branched, prostrate stems to 45 cm are quite brittle and care must be taken when handling the plant as they are easily broken. The campanulate flowers are mid blue, 3-4 cm in diameter and have a darker ring at the base. The lobes are well spread and the style is very prominent extending well beyond the lobes.

A beautiful species and is well worth growing although I do find slugs love to eat the fresh growth if grown outside. Try it in a warm situation outdoors or grow it in the alpine house. It makes a good show plant. Propagation is by seed and plenty is usually set or by removing rooted sideshoots at the edge of the plant that carry small tufts of leaves. Large plants usually have a great many side shoots to use for propagation purposes.

Graham Nichols