Spreading bellflower Campanula patula

Status Red - Endangered & Critically Endangered
Best Time to See
Habitat Woodland

A delicate plant with well spaced branches with large, blue, star-like flowers at their tips.

Unlike many bellflowers, the petals spread widely, hence the name. Branches often flop onto surrounding vegetation, so the plants can appear prostrate if they are in the open.


Occurs mainly on the Welsh borders and in the West Midlands.


Typically on sunny banks and the sides of tracks, lanes or roads, especially in open woodland or on woodland edges. It prefers dry, well-drained, fairly infertile sandy or gravelly soils.

Best time to see

A biennial, flowering from July to November.


Classified as Endangered, and therefore considered to be facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild. UK RARITY: Present in 37 10-km squares in the UK, but often in very small numbers and populations are frequently transitory. A new Priority Species under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. A Principal Species of Conservation Concern under Section 42 of the NERC act (2006) in Wales.

Key threats

Changes in woodland management, such as the cessation of coppicing and other disturbance, and also the increased use of herbicides on roadsides and railway banks.