This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol5-6", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
The capsules open at the base, being pendent. The seeds remain in the capsules and are blown out by the wind. The inner face of such hanging capsules is thick and woody, the thick part is egg-shaped and drawn into a blunt neck, with a long sharp point which extends into the capsule, the broader end being at the base, constituting the outline of the valve. There is a shallow groove in the centre, and, when ripe, this is convex on the inner face, hollow on the outer, breaking away from the rest of the capsule, and the thin edges turn outwards.
The seeds are large, oblong, broader at the end opposite the hilum, biconvex, with a thin narrow margin. The testa is bright brown, polished, and smooth.
The capsule is perforated at the bottom or base, so that the seeds are scattered by the wind. It is 3-celled.
The fungi Puccinia campanuloe, Coleosporium campanuloe occur on it, and it is galled by Cecidomyia campanuloe and Miarus campanula.
Two Hymenoptera, Cilissa hoemorrhoidalis, Cheilostoma campanu-larum, and the moths Large Ranunculus (Hadena flavocincta), Ash-worth's Rustic (Agrotis ashworthii), are found upon it.
It is called Air-bell, Aulman's, Hare or Hare's, Heath Bell, Bell-flower, Witch Bells, Blawort, Blue-bell, Blue Blauers or Blue-blowers, Blue-bottle, Gowks Thumbs, Milkwort, Lady's Witches, Thunble, Thimble. Aulman's Bell is a Scottish name, the plant being regarded with a sort of dread and commonly left unpulled. The name Lady's Thimble was bestowed because of the bell-shaped corolla which children gather and fit on their fingers. It was called Witches' Thimble, because it was commonly supposed witches decorated their fingers with it.
The Harebell was dedicated to St. George (April 23), people wearing blue coats.
"On St. George's Day, when blue is worn, The blue harebells the fields adorn."
This, no doubt, refers to the Bluebell, Scilla nutans. Our Lady's Thimble was another name. It was a plant of ill-omen in Scotland (see Aulman's Bell). The roots have a milky acrid juice, and the plant has been used in dietetics. Linnaeus says a blue pigment is prepared from the flowers. It is an ornamental flower and has been, and is, used in gardens.
Essential Specific Characters: 187. Campanula rotundifolia, L. - Stem erect, slender, smooth, radical leaves ovate-cordate, shorter than the petioles, stem-leaves linear-lanceolate, flowers 1 or more, blue or white, campanulate, in a raceme, lobes of the corolla turbinate.