'Joan Elliot' Clustered Bellflowers is a cultivar of Campanula glomerata. The local wholesale grower for this hardy perennial must have a pretty weird technique for preparing them for market, because every year they are offered in sundry of our region's nurseries hanging off the edges of gallon pots as though the variety was an entirely prostrate perennial, which it is not.
The photo this page shows it its first June in our garden, with the flowering stems laying sideways. In most cases, such specimens become upright, though the second photo shows the same clump one year later, still with a strong lean though not half as prostrate as when purchased.
In future years it ought to become increasingly mounded, producing a crop of basal leaves with short stems of large blue clustered flowers reaching upward to about sixteen or eighten inches, perfectly upright if grown in a great deal of sun, learning toward the direction of the most light if planted in a shadier spot.
The variety was introduced by Joe Elliott (1915-1998), Gloucester's founder (in 1946) of Broadwell Nursery in the Cotswolds. Joe specialized in alpine perennials. 'Joan Elliot' is named for his wife.
It makes fine cut flowers for bouquets, attracts hummingbirds & butterflies, & blooms in semi-shade for a very long time, beginning as early as May but certainly by June, lasting as late as September, & at its peak of performance June through August in our zone.
It is cold-hardy down to zone 4, into the range of minus 30 to 20 degrees F., but will want winter mulching in the lower range of of its tolerances. The clump can spread to two feet wide, when it may seem to tire & bloom less well after three or four years. It can be revived by digging it up, dividing it in quarters, & replanting.
Though it does well in moist well-draining soil in full sun, it is very useful for somewhat shady locations where most penstemons would not bloom this well. Ours is shaded near the base of large old Evergreen Huckleberries.
C. glomerata 'Crown of Snow' Clustered Bellflower
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