The bell-nettle leaf (photos are presented in the article) is a herbaceous perennial plant belonging to the Campanula family. Occasionally annual bells are found. The flower is common in meadows, fields, as well as in the mountains. For many years, the plant has been of interest to breeders. Connoisseurs have flowers of extraordinary shape and color. Currently, there are varieties with double flowers, as well as edible species.
Bell of nettle leaf: description
The plant can reach a height of one meter. The stem is straight, reddish, the roots are thick. The middle and lower leaflets are petiolate, ovate at the edges, and the upper ones sessile. On small pedicels, which are in the axils of the upper leaves, there are two or three flowers.
They can be blue, white or blue-violet. Flowers are usually large. Flowering begins in June and lasts until the end of August. The nettle-leaf bell prefers shady forests, ravines or thickets in central Russia. Gardeners cultivated this species for a long time. Bells with terry flowers are quite widespread among garden forms. The flower is undemanding to the soil, it feels good in the shade. Also loves moisture bell nettle. His varieties are few, these are:
- Bernice is a wonderful variety with purplish-blue color with double flowers collected in beautiful inflorescences. Leaflets are serrated, dark green. It blooms for a long period of time.
- Alba - perfect for a summer cottage. Has flowers in diameter of 4-7 centimeters at the edges of white, and pink inside. The leaves are shaped like hearts.
Planting a bell
The bell is planted in partial shade or shadow. The plant is adversely affected by stagnation of water and closely located groundwater. In winter, close proximity to stagnant water will result in the death of the bell. The plant develops well and grows quickly in light soils. Lean soils are fed with fertilizers, and in heavy soils you can add river sand and decayed grass.
A landing site is recommended to be prepared in advance. Initially, they dig a plot, remove all weeds, and fertilize. And besides, you should take care of a good outflow of water. The bell of nettle leaf is planted in the ground with a neutral reaction of the medium. However, there are species that require slightly alkaline earth. Gardeners do not recommend adding peat and fresh manure to the soil, since there is a high risk of developing fungal diseases. If a weakly acidic soil is present on the site, it is diluted with wood ash.
The bell is nettle-leafed, planting and care of which does not cause difficulties, needs moderate and regular watering. In the spring, when the plant grows, it should be fed with nitrogen fertilizers. From time to time it is necessary to mulch the soil near the bell with rotted manure. Low concentration mineral fertilizers are applied before buds appear. Regular weeding and loosening will benefit the bell. In order to prolong the flowering period, it is necessary to remove wilted peduncles. Brown boxes with seeds should be cut so that self-seeding does not occur.
Bells can propagate by seed or vegetatively depending on the species. For example, annuals propagate exclusively by seeds, and two-year-olds by cuttings and seeds in the spring. Perennial species in most cases propagate vegetatively, with the exception of those species whose rhizome shape is similar to a brush or rod. They are vegetatively motionless, for this reason reproduction occurs exclusively by seeds. Bells with a long root system are propagated by root segments. Plants with short, branched roots propagate vegetatively and seeds.
As soon as the seed boxes become brown, they are collected and dried, then their pores open and small black seeds fall out. They can be sown in the fall before the onset of cold weather or in the spring. Seeds are sown two centimeters apart. Then they are sprinkled with moist earth. In the spring, the seeds germinate after about three weeks. Also, seeds can be planted on seedlings. When three leaves appear and after spring frosts they are planted in the soil.
If you propagate the bell vegetatively, you get a flower similar to the mother and it will retain all the best signs. Such reproduction is necessary for terry and semi-double species, as well as southern forms of plants, since their seeds do not have time to ripen. Starting from the third year of vegetation, the bell can be divided. When dividing, one must remember that the plant must have time to take root. How to divide the plant? First you need to dig up the mother bush, then cut the shoots of the aerial parts. After you need to divide the rhizome into dividends with kidney renewal. Then they are planted in a recess so that the kidney of renewal was on the surface.
Diseases and Pests
The bell of nettle leaf (photo and description was given above) is practically not susceptible to diseases and pests. However, if the growing conditions are not observed, fungal diseases, rust, powdery mildew may develop. To prevent the further development of diseases, soil should be treated with foundationazole or a solution of copper sulfate. In rainy weather, snails, slugs, aphids can attack the plant. Superphosphate, as well as various chemicals, are suitable for fighting.
The grass of the bell of nettle leaf is widely used in alternative medicine. For medicinal purposes, leaves and stems are used. Fresh leaves are poured with boiling water and insist for three minutes.
To warm sick joints, medicinal raw materials of the bell in the form of poultices are used. With hoarseness, sore throat and other inflammations of the throat, tincture of dry grass successfully helps. The roots and leaves of the bell are used to make salads, and the young leaves are used for cabbage soup.
According to legend, the bell brings happy love to girls, and the elderly bring calm old age. In ancient times, this plant was considered a powerful love spell. To attract the beloved girl, it was necessary to pick a flower at dawn, and then attach it to the shutter. Bouquets of wild bells almost instantly fade.
Landing and care
Flower bushes are best planted in partial shade with diffused sunlight. It is important that in the place of future planting, groundwater should be located as deep as possible without touching the root system of the plant. Stagnant water is one of the causes of fungal and infectious diseases of the culture.
Despite the high adaptive ability of the bell to take root on soils with different compositions, it is advisable for him to choose light loamy soils. Heavy earth is diluted with sand, humus, compost from rotted grass and leaves, mineral additives are added to it.
A few days before the landing, the following preparatory work is carried out:
- dig the ground
- weed it from weeds,
- lime the soil in an acid reaction.
Landing is carried out as follows:
- drainage material is placed in the planting hole - fine gravel, coarse sand, and on top - a nutrient mixture with wood ash and complex fertilizer, fresh organics are contraindicated for the bell, as it can provoke the development of fungal infections,
- Having planted a bush, the soil under it is firmly pressed to the roots and moderately watered.
Planted bells are irrigated as needed when the topsoil dries, even in dry times. Planting is carried out after the snow melts or in the beginning of autumn for successful rooting before the cold. Leaving includes periodic weeding from weeds and loosening of the near-trunk zone. Bells are fed only once a year, in the springtime - with phosphorus, potash and nitrogen-containing compounds.
The exception is the period of budding, when minerals are also added under the bushes. Fading flower stalks must be removed, which will help prolong flowering. After flowering, the browned capsules are collected to prevent self-seeding, with the onset of October, the stems of the plant are completely removed.
For the winter, you can fill the bell with mulch from peat, dry leaves and branches.
The choice for every taste
There is a huge variety of bells, so you can always choose the most suitable for your flowerbed. Most bells will look great in sunny flower gardens. They bloom en masse in the summer and are not lost in combination with large and bright colors. The bell is great for both group and single landings.
Nettle-bells are one of the largest and most beautiful herbaceous plants that will serve as a decoration for any summer cottage.
What's in your name
The Latin name of the genus, which is the first word of all species of plants of this genus, “Campanula”, goes back to ancient languages, in which there was a consonant word meaning “noise, roar”. From here the word "bell" was born.
The Latin species epithet of the name "trachelium" comes from the ancient belief of folk healers that the plant helps to save a person from throat diseases, although modern medicine does not confirm this effect.
Therefore, in the Russian version, the basis of the species name is the shape of the leaves of the plant, resembling the shape of the leaves of Nettle. Thus, the name of the plant acquired the form - "Campanifolia bell".
The bell of nettle leaf is a perennial herb. For its many years, the fibrous thick root wintering in the soil is responsible.
In the spring, one or several erect, unbranched stems with a height of 30 centimeters to one meter appear on the surface, the surface of which often has a reddish tint. Along the entire length of the stem, alternating leaves are arranged. The lower leaves are ovoid with a heart-shaped base and are distinguished by long petioles. In the middle of the stem, the petioles become shorter, and in the upper part of the stem, the leaves lose their petioles, turning into sessile. The shape of the upper leaves is ovoid or lanceolate. The sheet plate is covered with stiff hairs and has a serrated decorative edge. In general, all aerial parts of the plant are covered with protective hard hairs.
Flowering occurs in the period from June to August. A spike-shaped short inflorescence crowning the stem is formed by several drooping flowers. In addition, two or three large flowers are located in the axils of the leaves on short pedicels. Each flower has a protective base of five fused pubescent sepals. The flower corolla has five violet or bluish-purple (less often, white) petals forming a bell, pubescent inside. Inside the bell are a pestle and five stamens.
The fruit of the Nettlebell bell is a pubescent drooping box ripening in August-September.
In the wild, the nettle leaf can be found in forest glades, in groves and rare broad-leaved forests, where the soil is rich in humus and relatively moist.
Due to the spectacular dark green leaves with a beautiful scalloped edge and large bell-shaped flowers with petals of purple hues, the Campanula bellflower is popular with flower growers. Being a plant of different heights, the Campanifolia bell is suitable for any type of flower garden.
Low-growing varieties fit perfectly into rocky gardens and alpine slides, decorating them all summer with their decorative leaves and bright bluebells. Tall suitable for mixborders, front gardens, Moorish lawn.
The bell-nettle loves partial shade or shadow, fertile soil rich in humus and medium humidity.
Although official medicine does not recognize the medicinal ability of the plant, traditional healers use the bell of nettle as a medicinal plant.
The roots and leaves of the Campanula bellflower are quite edible and were previously used by people for food.