Description: Hardy biennial, ornamental flower bears tall spikes of large, bell shaped, blue flowers in early summer; medium green foliage
Habit: Flowering spike grows to 3 feet tall; clump forming; lush basal leaves
Culture: Full sun to part shade; tolerant of poor soils and dry conditions but responds to rich, moist soils
Hardiness: Cold hardy to USDA Zone 5
Origin: Southern Europe
Philadelphia nurseryman Bernard McMahon offered seed for Canterbury Bells in his 1804 broadside catalogue and Thomas Jefferson recorded sowing"Bellflower along with White Poppy and African Marigold seeds" on April 8, 1812. The plant is native to the Pyrenees and southern Europe, where it has been in cultivation since at least the sixteenth century. Canterbury Bells were among the first imported flowers grown in colonial American gardens and the earliest American citation was in 1760 from the J. Townley Seed Company in Boston.