A large family, widely distributed. Ours are small herbs, with bitter milky juice; leaves alternate, without stipules; flowers perfect, usually with five sepals; corolla with five united lobes; stamens five; ovary inferior, style long, sometimes hairy, with two to five stigmas, which do not expand until some time after the flower opens.

There are a great many kinds of Campanula; ours are chiefly perennials, with more or less bell-shaped corollas; the capsule tipped with the remains of the calyx and opening at the sides by minute holes. The name is from the Latin, meaning "little bell."