A perennial herb with slender rootstocks and smooth or pubescent stems, usually not branched, leafy, erect and rather stout, 1 to 3 feet high, the base of the stem decumbent and freely rooting at the nodes. Lower leaves 3 to 6 inches long, 1 to 2 inches wide, ovate with heart-shaped base, pointed or acuminate, the margin crenately toothed, often the blade slightly pubescent; upper leaves similar but smaller and sessile. Flowers borne in long, one-sided racemes, the individual flowers about 1 or 11/2 inches long, drooping on short stalks, subtended by small, leafy bracts. Corolla bell-shaped, blue or violet, five-lobed. Calyx lobes five in number, linear and spreading. Fruit a nodding, globose capsule, about one-third of an inch in diameter, opening by pores at the base.
Memoir 15 N. Y. State Museum Plate 215
B. Creeping Or European Bellflower - Campanula rapunculoides
In fields and along roadsides, and as an escape from gardens, often along fences and village streets. Naturalized from Europe. New Brunswick to Ontario, southern New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Flowering from July to September.
The Nettle-leaved Bellflower or Throatwort (Campanula trac helium Linnaeus) is similar in appearance, but the calyx and outer surface of the unexpanded corolla is bristly-ciliate with long, pale hairs. Called also Canterbury Bells.
The Tall Bellflower (Campanula americana Linnaeus) is a native species, not common in eastern or southern New York. Its flowers are pale blue, the corolla wheel-shaped, deeply cleft into five-pointed lobes.