Harebells (Campanula sp.)

Small, purple bell-shaped flower

Harebells (Campanula sp.)

Harebells are a common plant species in North America. These flowers are known by many common names, including bluebells, bellflowers, heathbells, and witch bells. Not only do they take on many common names, but they also do well in a variety of environments. Harebells are found in meadows, woods, beaches, etc. They do well in low to moderate moisture environments, in either full sun or shade, and they are also found at both low and high elevations!

The name “witch bells” may be associated with the story that witches were able to transform into hares, which were a symbol of bad luck in Irish folklore. These witches supposedly drained the juice from the flowers in order to transform themselves into a hare (USFS). The Haida Indians also had some tales about the harebell. They called them “blue rain flowers” and believed that if you picked these flowers, rain would soon fall (USDA).

Written by Anna Cressman
PC: Anna Cressman