Campanula americana (Tall Bellflower)
This is one Campanula that I am particularly fond of, and if you look at the photo, you'll see why. It's easy to identify in the wild because, simply put, there is nothing else like it. Unlike most of the flowers in the Campanula genus, this elegant North American native's flowers are flat, not bell-shaped. The light blue, star-shaped flowers are in clusters, or solitary, in the axils of the upper lance-shaped leaves and, oh, look at the long, curving style on each bloom. Campanula americana grows from two to six feet tall and blooms between June and August. Its native habitat is in rich, moist open woods, stream banks, and even roadside ditches (where I first discovered it), which means it needs some shade and moisture. Now as for it being a perennial, it is not. I have seen it described as a perennial, annual, and biennial, and I have answers (although not official answers) for that. It is perennial in that it reseeds, much like biennial Digitalis does: if you have it once, you will have it forever, and that's a very good thing. Depending on whether it is grown in spring or fall, it can be an annual or biennial. It is a bit of architectural heaven for the garden. Sun/part shade, in Zones 4-8. Quarts. (Photo by Stan Gilliam @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database, and used with his permission).