Creeping bellflower (Campanula rapunculoides), also known as creeping bluebell, is on the noxious list of Alberta weeds. It is invasive and, pretty though the bells are, NOT a plant you want in your garden.
Noxious weeds are considered too widespread to eradicate, but must be controlled wherever they appear. We have spotted creeping bellflower in many local residential areas, in yards as well as lanes and boulevards. If you have this plant on or near your property, please work to remove as much as you can and keep it under control.
This highly invasive perennial spreads by very tough creeping roots and seed. It has heart-shaped leaves with serrated edges, alternately arranged on non-branching stems. The plant ranges from 20-60 cm tall. The flowers are bell shaped, blue or purple, and grow on a spike. The root is resistant to most chemicals. The recommended controls are hand pulling, preventing seeding, and digging out the roots.
Creeping bellflower is sometimes confused with native harebells. However, harebells have much shorter stems, smaller flowers and different leaf size and shape
Alternatives: There are lots of other bellflowers (Campanula) readily available in garden centres that grow obediently and can beautify our gardens.
More on this and other invasive plants from the Alberta Native Species Council.