Herbs & Plants

Campanula trachelium

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Botanical Name ; Campanula trachelium
Family: Campanulaceae
Genus: Campanula
Species: C. trachelium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales
Common Name :Nettle-leaved Bellflower,bats-in-the-belfry

Habitat ;Campanula trachelium is a Eurasian blue wildflower native to Denmark and England and now naturalized in southeast Ireland. It is also found southward through Europe into Africa and is also found in North America and Germany.

Life cycle : perennial (Z4-9)
Flowers: violet-blue
Size :18″
Light full : sun-part shade
Cultural notes: well-drained soil, not too dry


Typical bellflower, with blue flowers on an upright but fairly small plant, with dark green leaves. Close-up inspection shows that the flowers and stems are slightly hairy. The flowering plants from last year didn’t return this year (although last year’s seedlings did, and are blooming now) – so it seems to have a biennial habit at least in our climate.

Medicinal Uses:
For pains in the ear, the blossoms of bellflower were gathered, boiling in a covered pan and after steeping the liquid, used to wash the ears.  If one had pain in the stomach, the root of this plant was cooked and spirits added.  After steeping for three hours, a small drink helped ease the pain.  In the smaller villages of Poland, children suffering from consumption were bathed in this herb: if the child’s skin darkened after such a bath, it was a sign that he/she would live.  If it didn’t, the disease would take them.

The alternate name Throatwort is derived from an old belief that Nettle-leafed campanulas are a cure for sore throat, & the species name trachelium refers to this old belief. There never was an actual medical benefit from the plant, which had no observable effect on the throat. But in past centuries, belief in the occult Doctrine of Signatures was very deeply stamped on superstitioius “believers.”

Other folknames include Our Lady’s Bells because the color blue was identified with the Virgin Mary’s scarf, veil, or shawl; Coventry Bells because C. trachelium was especially common in fields around Coventry; & “Bats-in-the-Belfry” or in the singular “Bat-in-the-Belfry,” because the stamens inside the flower were like bats hanging in the bell of a church steeple. Web site reference:

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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