A small family of herbs with alternate leaves and acrid, usually milky, juices. The flowers are regular and perfect and have a five-parted, usually bell-shaped, corolla.
This beautiful European species is a frequent escape from gardens and is quite firmly established in several localities in the Eastern States. It is, of course, to be met with in the vicinity of habitations and often alongside roads. As it is a perennial its occurrence in the same places may be looked for year after year.
The simple stems are erect and quite tall, ranging from 1 to 3 feet high. The toothed, lance-shaped leaves alternate along the lower portion of the stem and the bell-shaped, purplish flowers are in loose spikes on the terminal portions. They are all in nodding positions, seated in five-parted calyces, on slender pedicels each subtended by a small bract-like leaf.
B. Bluebell; Harebell.
Harebell; Bluebell (Campanula Rotundifolia) is the "Blue Bells of Scotland" so familiar to us in song and verse. It is a very slender-stemmed species but very hardy, as attested by the altitudes at which it is found on mountains. It gets it specific name, rotundifolia, from the little tuft of rounded, toothed leaves that appear before the flowering stem, and rarely last until the flowers appear. The flowering stems are very slender and wiry, sparsely set with linear leaves; they usually branch near the summit, each division bearing a demure, drooping, violet bell. It is found in bloom from June until September in rocky or sandy places in Canada and northern United States.
Venus' Looking Glass (Specularia Perfoliata) is a tall, wand-like annual with rounded, scallop-edged clasping leaves and little 5-parted blue flowers in their axils. Pound throughout the United States.