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Campanula cochlearifolia 'Elizabeth Oliver' -plant of the month July 2016



Campanula cochlearifolia is a plant beloved of many an Alpine plant enthusiast.  Spreading by slender rhizomes, the species can be found over a wide area in the mountains of Europe, often on limestone. The usually neat nodding bell-shaped flowers can be found in lilac, lavender, blue and white but 'doubles' are not uncommon.

 The clone 'Elizabeth Oliver' , a full 'double', with very light, powder-blue flowers, was introduced into cultivation in the 1970s and was named for the daughter of a Mr Bull, in who's garden it first occurred in Nottingham, England. 

A somewhat sprawling plant but well behaved enough to not be considered thuggish in any way. Propogation is by  simple division of the plant in early spring; there are no reports of this plant setting seed - this is common to many 'double' flowered plants as the reproductive parts have usually mutated to become petals




Seen here on the Alpine Garden Societies crevice Garden at Pershore, showing its floral capabilities. Confined between rock slabs like this makes it possible to direct the growth of such plants in a fairly controlled manner. This method of growing lends itself well to the cultivation of many plants with a similar growth habit. The Alpine Garden Society has a very useful booklet  called ' The Crevice Garden and its Plants'  written by Zdenek Zvolanek, an internationally acclaimed authority on the subject.

Ray Drew