Creeping Bellflower—Another Attractive but Unwanted Plant

Creeping bellflower (Campanula rapunculoides) is a perennial forb from Eurasia and a member of the Bluebell family that many locals mistake for a native wildflower and allow to grow freely. It often escapes to natural areas where it forms patches that can crowd out native plants. The plants spread by seed as well as underground runners (rhizomes) that form large carrot-like white tubers. While above ground only a few leaves may be visible, below ground are constantly spreading fibrous roots. In Wisconsin this plant is restricted, i.e., illegal to grow or transport. And in Lynnhurst, creeping bellflower has taken over in some areas, displacing native plants. 

The best way to eliminate creeping bellflower is to dig at least 6” deep to locate and remove all rhizomes and perennial roots. Chemicals don’t work because of the large root systems. Missed roots will re-sprout, requiring a sustained effort. However, it’s well worth the effort to stop this invasive plant from further damaging our beautiful neighborhood gardens and natural areas. 

More information
Visit these websites to learn more:

Campanula rapunculoides (Creeping Bellflower): Minnesota Wildflowers

Is this plant a weed? : Garden : University of Minnesota Extension (umn.edu)

For those who use Facebook, there is an engaging, informative and often funny group called “Creeping Bellflower Battles” that anyone can join. It’s a recommended resource for those who are struggling with this unwanted invasive plant in their gardens.