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Campanula persicifolia, also known as the peach-leaved bellflower or peach-leaf bellflower, is a perennial plant with pretty bell-shaped flowers that bloom in summer all along its tall stem. When paired with roses, poppies or dianthus, it is an attractive accent in the garden and is prized for the China blue of its blooms. Campanula persicifolia, which can grow to 36 inches (91.44 centimeters) tall and a foot (30.48 centimeters) wide under ideal conditions, can be grown easily from seed in sun to partial shade. This perennial is a good self-seeder in the home garden but does not take over a garden bed.
The peach-leaved bellflower is available in strains that produce flowers in shades of lavender, blue, or white. Another variety, Chettle Charm, blooms white but its edges turn a pale blue. A white variety is sometimes called white peach bells. The bloom period can be extended if a gardener cuts back Campanula persicifolia after its first bloom of the season to set off a new round of growth and flowering. Campanula persicifolia gets its common nickname of “peach-leaved” because the green leaves resemble the leaves of a peach tree.
Some gardeners’ bellflowers have experienced insect and fungus problems. Campanula persicifolia attracts aphids, vine weevils, slugs, spider mites and snails. The plant also can acquire powdery mildew, Southern blight, leaf spot and rust. These problems aside, many gardeners would not be without the peach-leaved bellflower because of its tidy growing habit, fine looks, and ease of growth. It likes to grow in soil that drains well and whose pH level falls in the neutral range. Manure is a good fertilizer for this plant and helps the first bloom, but a lesser amount should be added to the soil when the bellflower is preparing for its second bloom period.
A relative of Campanula persicifolia, the bluebell bellflower or Campanula rotundifolia, looks similar to the peach-leafed bellflower. The bluebell bellflower has been used in American Indian medicines to treat problems of the lung and heart. The root is the part of the plant that was used, with some patients chewing it, others using it as an infusion or a decoction.