pinkhotabukuroCampanula punctata

A nearby garden grows these huge campanulas every year. I look forward to seeing them every year – especially the speckled light pink native ones. Although the common name of the Campanula punctata is called the Chinese Rampion, its range is actually in Japan and Siberia. Its habitats are grassy slopes in lowland and low mountains all over Japan. It also grows in waste places such as roadsides and stony slopes on hills from the lowlands to elevations of 1700 metres.

pinkhotarubukuro

They are called hotarubukuro in Japanese. There are also very beautiful dark purple ones (see  photo below).

Hotarubukuro

Am I imagining it, but each year the hotarubukuro as this flower is known in Japan, seem to be getting larger and larger. This one’s enormous! Wish I could show you the size of one of its blue bells.   

Interesting fact: The flowers are hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) so the plant is self-fertile. Edible Parts: Flowers and leaves. The flowers and leaves are used as potherbs. The leaves are slightly hairy but they have a very pleasant taste raw, with a pleasant sweetness and make a very acceptable salad. The flowers make a decorative and tasty addition to the salad bowl. 

Other facts:

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Seed – surface sow spring in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in 2 – 4 weeks at 18c. Easy. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Basal cuttings in spring. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10 – 15cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer or following spring.

Source: Plants for a Future http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Campanula+punctata

Visit these two links to look at some species found in the wild in Japan

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