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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Comments

Sometimes this plant is called "Tall Bellflower." The older scientific name is Campanula americana, but it has been reassigned to its own genus because of the unique structure of the flowers. The flowers of this tall-growing plant are showy, but individually short-lived. However, new flowers are produced in succession higher up on the spike. The other members of the Bellflower family that occur in Illinois, whether native or introduced, have bell-shaped flowers, while the flowers of the American Bellflower have a more open design with widely spreading lobes. Consequently, this species is easy to identify.
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Description

This native plant is an annual or biennial from 2-6' tall. Usually, it is unbranched, although sometimes a few side stems will develop from the lower central stem. The central stem is more or less hairy. The alternate leaves are up to 6" long and 2" across, tapering to slender petioles. They are lanceolate to ovate, with serrated margins and a rough upper surface. The central stem terminates in a spike of flowers about ½–2' long. From the axils of the upper leaves, secondary spikes of flowers may develop, but these are much shorter (about 1–6" in length). Each flower is about 1" across, and varies in color from light to dark violet-blue, depending on the local ecotype. The corolla has 5 spreading lobes that are divided nearly to the base; they have a satiny appearance under bright light, and tend to have margins that twist and curl. In the center of the flower is the top of a 5-angled ovary, from which a light violet style is strongly exerted. This style bends downward from the flower, but curls upward near its tip; the small stigma is white and divided into 3 lobes. The flower is often white toward the center, rather than blue-violet. The green tubular calyx is strongly ridged and has 5 long narrow teeth that curl backward when the flower opens. The blooming period occurs from mid-summer to early fall, and lasts about 1½ months. The seed capsule is 5-angled and rather flat-topped. The root system consists of a taproot.
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

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Range and Habitat in Illinois

American Bellflower is a common plant that occurs in most counties of Illinois (see Distribution Map). Habitats include moist to slightly dry deciduous woodlands, woodland borders, and thickets. It is often found along woodland paths, and appears to prefer slightly disturbed areas.
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Campanula americana var. illinoensis (Fresen.) Farw.:
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63110 USA

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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Campanulastrum americanum (L.) Small:
Canada (North America)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Campanula americana L.:
Canada (North America)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63110 USA

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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

American Bellflower is a common plant that occurs in most counties of Illinois (see Distribution Map). Habitats include moist to slightly dry deciduous woodlands, woodland borders, and thickets. It is often found along woodland paths, and appears to prefer slightly disturbed areas.
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Associations

Flower-Visiting Insects of American Bellflower in Illinois

Campanulastrum americanum (American Bellflower)
(Bees usually suck nectar, although some bees collect pollen as indicated below; Syrphid flies feed on pollen and are non-pollinating; other insects suck nectar; all observations are from Robertson)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera sn; Apidae (Bombini): Bombus griseocallis sn, Bombus impatiens sn, Bombus pensylvanica sn fq; Anthophoridae (Eucerini): Melissodes bimaculata bimaculata sn; Megachilidae (Megachilini): Megachile brevis brevis sn, Megachile campanulae campanulae sn cp olg, Megachile petulans cp; Megachilidae (Coelioxini): Coelioxys modesta sn

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Halictinae): Agapostemon sericea sn, Augochlorella striata cp np, Halictus rubicunda sn, Lasioglossum imitatus cp np; Colletidae (Colletinae): Colletes latitarsis sn np; Colletidae (Hylaeinae): Hylaeus affinis fp np

Wasps
Tiphiidae: Myzinum quinquecincta sn

Flies
Syrphidae: Trichopsomyia apisaon fp np

Butterflies
Nymphalidae: Vanessa cardui sn

Skippers
Hesperiidae: Staphylus hayhurstii sn

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Faunal Associations

Long-tongued bees are the primary pollinators of the flowers, including bumblebees and large Leaf-Cutting bees (Megachilidae). Among the latter, is the oligolectic bee Megachile campanulae campanulae. Other visitors of the flowers include Halictid bees, butterflies, and skippers. These insects seek nectar, and some of the bees collect pollen from the anthers. Syrphid flies may feed on the pollen, but they are not effective pollinators. Deer occasionally eat the flowers and foliage.
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Campanulastrum americanum

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Campanulastrum americanum

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 3
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Conservation

Conservation Status

NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

The preference is light shade to partial sun, moist to mesic conditions, and a rich loamy soil. During a drought, this plant often drops its lower leaves. Depending on moisture conditions and the fertility of the soil, the size of this plant can be highly variable.
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Wikipedia

Campanula americana

Campanula americana, the American bellflower,[1] is a tall bellflower native to eastern North America from the Great Lakes region south to Florida and from the Dakotas east to New York. This native plant is an annual or biennial from 2-6' tall.[2] Its flowers are light blue to violet and are usually arranged in elongated clusters. It is an unusual bellflower in that its flowers are usually flat and not bell-shaped. It has a varying life-history with seeds germinating in the fall producing annual plants and spring-germinating seeds producing biennial plants. It is generally insect-pollinated, and does not usually self-pollinate.[3]

Some authorities, including the USDA Plants database [4] consider the name Campanulastrum americanum to be the valid and correct name for this species.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Taxon: Campanula americana". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Area. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  2. ^ "American Bellflower Wildflowers". 
  3. ^ Galloway, L. F.; J. R. Etterson (2005). "Population differentiation and hybrid success in Campanula americana: geography and genome size". Journal of Evolutionary Biology (European Society for Evolutionary Biology) 18 (1): 81–89. doi:10.1111/j.1420-9101.2004.00801.x. PMID 15669963. 
  4. ^ "PLANTS Profile for Campanulastrum americanum". USDA Plants Database. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2013-06-11. 


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