BLUEBELL FAMILY - Campanulaceae: Harebell or Hairbell; Blue Bells of Scotland; Lady's Thimble
Flowers--Bright blue or violet-blue, bell-shaped, 1/2 in. long, or over, drooping from hair-like stalks. Calyx of 5-pointed, narrow, spreading lobes; 5 slender stamens alternate with lobes of corolla, and borne on summit of calyx tube, which is adherent to ovary; 1 pistil with 3 stigmas in maturity only. Stem: Very slender, 6 in. to 3 ft. high, often several from same root; simple or branching. Leaves: Lower ones nearly round, usually withered and gone by flowering season; stem leaves narrow, pointed, seated on stem. Fruit: An egg-shaped, pendent, 3-celled capsule with short openings near base; seeds very numerous, tiny.
Preferred Habitat--Moist rocks, uplands.
Distribution--Arctic regions of Europe, Asia, and America; southward on this continent, through Canada to New Jersey and Pennsylvania; westward to Nebraska, to Arizona in the Rockies, and to California in the Sierra Nevadas.
The inaccessible crevice of a precipice, moist rocks sprayed with the dashing waters of a lake or some tumbling mountain stream, wind-swept upland meadows, and shady places by the roadside may hold bright bunches of these hardy bells, swaying with exquisite grace on tremulous, hair-like stems that are fitted to withstand the fiercest mountain blasts, however frail they appear. How dainty, slender, tempting these little flowers are! One gladly risks a watery grave or broken bones to bring down a bunch from its a๋rial cranny.