IVY-LEAVED BELLFLOWER

Wahlenbergia hederacea

Bellflower Family [Campanulaceae]

month8jul month8july month8aug

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8azure
inner
inner8white
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
stem
stem8round
stem
stem8milkysap stem8milkylatex
rarity
rarityZuncommon

28th July 2006, Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
In a different genus to all other plants with the common name 'Bellflower'. A low-growing plant which creeps through the grass and other undergrowth. It can reach the height of 30cm. The leaves possess stalks some being Ivy-like and angular in shape with ~5 flat sides and triangular teeth, but shape does vary a lot between being broadly ovate to orbicular-reniform (round-kidney shaped) or angled and/or with short teeth.


28th July 2006, Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
It has long thin stems which thread through the undergrowth.


28th July 2006, Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
The flowers are solitary on long thin and erect stalks between 1-4cm long, but the flowers themselves can be pendent, unlike this upright bunch. A fruit, which is 3mm, can be seen poking into the frame on the right; the fruits have a persistent calyx.


28th July 2006, Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
A few ivy-shaped leaves. They are 5-10mm long, hairless and alternate on the stem.


28th July 2006, Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
How dainty. The ivy-shaped leaves do seem to go quite small (there are a tiny pair just behind the larger pair), but maybe not yet fully grown. The leaves on the stem are supposed to be alternate, but these 4 have not heard of that rule and are disobeying. They nearly got away with it.


28th July 2006, Photo: © Bastiaan Brak


28th July 2006, Photo: © Bastiaan Brak


28th July 2006, Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
It looks like the corolla is cut only 1/4 the way down into 5 petals. The calyx teeth are long and narrow like those of Rampion Bellflower but the length:width ratio is not as great. .


28th July 2006, Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
The stigmas is 3-lobed with the stamens shorter.


Easily confused with : Flower () [plants with similar names belonging to differing families]

Not to be semantically confused with : Ivy-leaved Maple (Acer cissifolium), Ivy-leaved Toadflax (Cymbalaria muralis), Ivy-leaved Morning-glory (Ipomoea hederacea), Ivy-leaved Duckweed (Lemna trisulca), Ivy-Leaved Speedwell (Veronica hederifolia) or Ivy (Hedera helix) [plants with similar names belonging to differing families].

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature : A low-growing, sprawling Bellflower-like plant.

It is a fairly rare [R] occurring in damp acid places on moors and heaths, by streams or in woods mainly in West Wales, Devon & Cornwall, East Manchester and nearer the coast South of London with very little presence elsewhere.

Like many Bellflowers it is said to ooze a sticky white liquid from broken stems, but it is not toxic, and may even be edible. One source says this milky sap contains the diabetic 'sugar' Inulin which certainly is edible. Many other sources claim that most bellflowers have a sticky milky sap, but none say which Bellflowers do not!


  Wahlenbergia hederacea  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Campanulaceae  

Distribution
 family8Bellflower family8Campanulaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Wahlenbergia
Wahlenbergia
(Ivy-leaved Bellflower)

IVY-LEAVED BELLFLOWER

Wahlenbergia hederacea

Bellflower Family [Campanulaceae]