Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for American Harebell - Campanula rotundifolia   L.
Members of Campanulaceae:
Members of Campanula with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Campanulales » Family Campanulaceae
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DistributionKnown only from the northwesternmost counties -- Ashe and Watauga. It was first discovered in the state in 1991.

This is a widespread boreal species, ranging across Canada and the Northern states, from coast to coast. It ranges south down the Appalachians only to extreme northwestern NC; it is not yet known for KY or TN.
AbundanceVery rare, known from only single sites in each of the two counties. This is a State Endangered species.
HabitatIn NC, it is known only from high elevation rocky summits, but only in high pH soil, over amphibolite rock.
PhenologyBlooms in July and August, and fruits from August to September.
IdentificationThis is a somewhat familiar species if you botanize in Canada and far northern states, but hardly anyone is familiar with it in the state. It is a slender and delicate plant, growing to about 1 foot tall, usually unbranched, or branched only from the base. It has scattered alternate leaves along the stem, these being very "wiry" as well -- linear and about 2 inches long and needle-like. Note that the scientific name refers to basal leaves, which are indeed rounded, but quite small in size, and they wither before flowering. Each plant has only a handful of quite large flowers from the tip of the stem, and each is light blue to bright blue, bell-shaped, and about 2/3-inch long. In general, these flowers nod somewhat downward, and seem quite large for the slender stems below them. As the plants only grow on rocky summits at high elevations, reaching such plants in NC might be tough on footing, if not be somewhat dangerous.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Bluebell, Bluebell Bellflower, Harebell. Many references simply call it "Harebell", but as most name C. divaricata as Southern Harebell, the name of Harebell needs a modifier word.
State RankS1
Global RankG5
State StatusE
US Status
USACE-agcpFACU link
USACE-empFACU link
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