Campanula aparinoides (Marsh Bellflower)

Plant Info
Also known as: Bedstraw Bellflower
Family:Campanulaceae (Bellflower)
Life cycle:perennial
Habitat:part shade, sun; wet meadows, swamps, along shores
Bloom season:June - August
Plant height:6 to 36 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: OBL MW: OBL NCNE: OBL
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 5-petals Flower shape: bell

[photo of flower] Flowers are solitary, sometimes nodding, on long slender stalks at the end of branching stems. Flowers are ¼ to ½ inch long, white or pale blue with 5 flaring petals pointed at the tip and fused near the base, creamy white stamens, and a long divided style curled at the tips. The petals are veined with pale blue to grayish white.

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf type: simple

[photo of var. aparinoides leaves] Leaves have tiny, often widely spaced teeth around the edges, pointed tips, are slightly rough around the edges and along the midrib on the underside from tiny hooked hairs, and have little or no leaf stalk. Leaves of var. aparinoides are to 1½ inches long and ¼ inch wide, or about 6 times as long as wide.

[photo of var. grandiflora leaves] Leaves of var. grandiflora are up to 2½ inches long and more linear, to 12 times as long as wide. Stems are weak, 3 sided with hooked hairs that grab onto surrounding vegetation and help support the plant.

Fruit: Fruit type: capsule/pod

[photo of fruit] Fruit is a globular, ribbed capsule about 1/6 inch long with 3 sections.


Minnesota has 2 varieties of Marsh Bellflower, var. aparinoides and var. grandiflora (formerly known as Campanula uliginosa) but the Herbarium records do not always distinguish them. The flowers are much the same between the 2, though the latter is minutely larger; the primary difference is the leaves as described above. Due to its weak stems, Marsh Bellflower typically sprawls along the ground and tangles itself up in neighboring plants.

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More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken in Ramsey and Anoka counties. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Anoka county.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Nancy - Tamarac NWR, Becker County
on: 2015-07-27 22:06:46

Marsh bellflower var. grandiflora was growing near Tamarac Lake, south access. Easy to overlook amidst coarser vegetation!

Posted by: Linda - Hythecker S & N area
on: 2015-08-22 09:15:58

August 8, 2015 on guided tour of area

Posted by: Claire - East of Pequot Lakes. North central.
on: 2016-08-03 16:34:37

I found some today, Aug. 3 on our Lund Lake, a small marshy lake. I checked in two flower i.d. books, but couldn't find it. I will check your Website from now on! I love it! Thanks!

Posted by: Bob Bork - Becker County - S. Twin Lake
on: 2022-07-17 14:08:43

Found along shore of lake. This lake is not far from Tamarac NWR.

Posted by: Diana - Lake Bemidji State Park
on: 2023-07-18 11:37:30

Found masses of these growing amongst fine leaved sedges in a swampy area near Sundew Pond.

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