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H. Perennial & Old Fashioned Garden Plants & Flowers by John Wood
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Campanula Pyramidalis - Hardy Perennial

Author: John Wood

Campanula Pyramidalis - Hardy Perennials and Old Fashioned Flowers

Campanula Pyramidalis Described.

Campanula Pyramidalis - Pyramidal or Chimney Campanula; Nat. Ord. Campanulaceæ.

This herbaceous perennial is a very old flower in this country; it came from Carniola in the year 1594. It is very hardy, and for several months together it continues to produce its large lively blue flowers, beginning in July and lasting until stopped by frosts. At no time is it in finer form than in September; at the height of from 5ft. to 7ft. it proves richly effective amongst the blooming hollyhocks, where, as regards colour, it supplies the "missing link".

The flowers are a light bright blue colour, and 1in. to 1½in. across. The corolla is bell-shaped, the five divisions being deeply cut, which allows the flower to expand well; the calyx is neat and smooth, the segments long and awl-shaped; the flower stalks are short, causing the numerous erect branches to be closely furnished with bloom during favourable weather. The leaves of the root are very large and stalked, of irregular shape, but for the most part broadly oval or lance-shaped. The edges are slightly toothed, having minute glands; those of the stems are much smaller, sessile, and long egg-shaped; all the foliage is smooth, and of a dark green colour; the main stems are very stout, and sometimes grow to the height of 7ft. Vigorous plants will send up several of these, from which a great number of small ones issue, all assuming an erect habit; blooming specimens are hardly anything else than a wand-like set of flowered stems, and though it is advisable to stake them, I have seen them bend and wave during high winds without damage.

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Campanula Pyramidalis

In the borders and shrubbery this is a very effective subject; it is amongst herbaceous plants what the Lombardy poplar is amongst forest trees—tall, elegant, and distinct. Its use, however, is somewhat limited, owing to the stiffness of the stems and the shortness of the flower stalks; but when grown in pots—as it often is—for indoor decoration, it proves useful for standing amongst orange and camellia trees. It has very strong tap roots, and enjoys a deep rich loam. Not only does it look well among trees, but otherwise the partial shade of such quarters seems conducive to finer bloom.

Flowering period, July to October.

C. p. alba is a white flowering variety of the above species; its other points of distinction are its smaller-sized leaves and much paler green colour, by which alone the plants may be easily recognised from the type. This variety may be grown with good effect in pots or the border; it scarcely gets so tall as the blue form, but looks well by the side of it.

The readiest way to increase these plants is to take the young and dwarf growths from the woody crown of the roots, paring off a little of the bark with each. If these are put in sandy loam during the warm growing season and kept shaded for a few days, they will very soon make plenty of roots; this method in no way damages the flowers. Another way is by seed, but seedlings are two years before they bloom.

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