Campanula lasiocarpa : Alpine Bellflower


Scientific Name:

Kingdom: Plantae


Class: Dicoteldonae (two seed-leaves)

Family: Campanulaceae (Bluebell Family)

Genera: Campanula (Bellflower) (Lat. diminutive of campana = bell, thus = little bell; reffering to the bell-like flowers)

Species: lasiocarpa (Gk. lasi = hairy, wooly + karpos = fruit; reffering to the fuzzy seed capsule)

English Name(s):

Alpine Bellflower, Mountain/Alpine Harebell/Bluebell/Bellflower

First Nation Names:



  • Plants 5-12cm tall, from slender elongated rhizomes (undeground stems).
  • Stems mostly solitary.


  • Mainly in a basal rosette. Slender petioled (stalked).
  • 1-6cm long by 0.2-1.3cm wide. Leaves smaller up the stem.
  • Elliptic to oblanceolate or oblong in shape.
  • Margins sharply serrate (toothed) to nearly smooth.

Reproductive Parts:

  • Flowers usually solitary. Rarely with one or two small lateral flowers.
  • Corollas (united-petals) blue to purpleish-blue, drying white, 1.5-3.5cm long. With ovate lobes shorter than tube.
  • Calyx (united-sepals) linear to lanceolate and long tappering with 1-2 pairs of thread-like teeth.


  • Fruit a many seeded capsule.
  • Capsules oblong in shape and hairy.

Not to Be Confused With:

  • Can be distinguished from C.uniflora (Arctic Bellflower) by its toothed leaves and generally larger flowers.



  • The anthers (male parts) open inwards when the style is still unreceptive and deposit thier pollen on the middle of the style (female part) where it is held in a thick covering of hairs. After the anthers have shriveled and fallen, the stigma (top of female part) opens into 3 lobes, ready to recieve the pollen carried from other flowers by insects.
  • If cross-pollenation does not occur, the lobes of the stygma open wider,rolling back until they come into contact withthe pollen grains sticking to the hairy style.
  • The seed capsule is very sensitive to atmospheric humidity. the slits and valves close in damp temperatures to protect the seeds inside from moisture damage.
  • The seeds are dispersed by the capsules long pedicils (stalks) which swing back and forth in strong wind broadcasting the seeds quite far.

Life Cycle:

  • Perennial

Seasonal Cycle:

  • Leaves and stems deciduous.


Animal Uses:

  • The flower stalks, at first erect, bend down sharply just before reaching maturity so that the enterance to the flower is toward the ground. This position is unsuitable for many animals that might visit these flowers but leaves them accessible to bees and protects the pollen from rain.
  • Many small bees and wasps usefull in carrying pollen use these flowers to overnight in.
  • These flowers are visited by bumble bees and other large insects that are large enough to reach the nectar contained in a ring of special tissue a the base of the style(female part).


  • Gravelly tundra, alpine heath nad meadows, rock outcrops, open woods.
  • Mainly on non-calcarious soils.






    • Stems are edible.

    Traditional Gwich'in:





            Traditional Other:


            • According to the Victorian language of flowers, they were said to symbolize gratitude and humility.
            • The flowers were said to be used by witches as thimbles.





                  Plant in early bloom, flower not fully open.

                  Flower top view

                  Flower side view, note hairy sepals

                  Toothed basal leaves

                  Full plant top view

                  Illustration from: Illustrated Flora of BC

                  Range Maps

                  World Range: Kamchatka and northern Japan to Western North America; In N.A. mountains of AB, BC, NT, YT, and AK

                  Prov/State Abrev. List

                  In Yukon: North to Porcupine River

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