Nettle-leaved Bellflower

Found on the field margins of Bepton Down.
Found on the field margins of Bepton Down.

The Nettle-leaved Bellflower (Campanula trachelium)

This is a hairy perennial plant with angular stems which are often of a reddish hue.  The leaves resemble those of a nettle, hence its name, and they are arranged alternately on the stem.  At the base of the plant they are long-talked and heart-shaped.  The upper leaves are stalk-less and hairy with toothed edges.  The flowers appear in July and August on spikes with a few nodding blooms.  These have five fused sepals and five violet (or rarely white) petals which are fused and bell-shaped with flared triangular lobes.   The seeds are housed in dry capsules.  It is locally common in the South and East of England and thrives on calcareous soils in hedgerows and scrub.

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