August 16, 2017

Garden Belles

Joy Meyers Photo | Adenophora stricta - ladybells

Joy Meyers Photo | Adenophora stricta – ladybells

In the family of bellflowers lives ladybells, Adenophora stricta (and sometimes known as A. confusa). This perennial herb is hardy to Zone 3, preferring sun to partial shade. It grows upwards of 3 feet in height, with purple flowers borne along sturdy stems. The difference between this species and very similar campanulas is in the thick, fleshy root. A native of Asia, A. stricta is known as sha shen in Chinese medicine where the root is used to treat respiratory ailments, including bronchitis and tuberculosis. Because of that root system, ladybells can become quite invasive in certain climates, generally in the South, where one source recommends spading them up to keep them under control.

Submitted by Joy Meyers