The campanula flower – sometimes referred to as the bellflower for its distinctive bell-like shape – is a genus from the campanulaceae family, which boasts about 300 species and multiple subspecies. These flowers – which may be perennial, biennial or annual – grow in abundance all throughout the more temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Their growth habits vary from the miniscule dwarf variety, all the way to the large-growing woodland species; however, they all maintain a panicle which sprouts colorful, five lobed corollas. Their calyx is also five lobed, and the leaves of this plant are alternate. The campanula flower is best known for a faint blue hue, but they may also be seen in several shades of purple, pink and white.
The name of the campanula flower is derived from Latin and translates into “little bell.” However, this flower is known by many names, one of which being “Venus’ Looking Glass.” This name came about because of the campanula’s place in mythological story telling. In this particular story, Venus owned a magical mirror which reflected only beautiful images. When she lost this mirror, she sent Cupid to find it. Cupid dropped the looking glass and it shattered into a million pieces. True to its practice of making everything around it beautiful, the glass fell to the ground and sprouted stunning blue, bell-shaped flowers. These flowers have other folkloric tales attached to them. For instance, it was said that fairies planted campanulas to trap those who passed them – especially small children; in Poland, people who were afflicted with consumption were bathed in an infusion of the flower so as to divine the outcome of their ailment. If their skin darkened, they would survive and be healthy, on the other hand, if their skin remained fair, they would die from the disease. Today, though, several species are considered very effective in home remedies. They are said to aid in healing oral inflammation, sore throats, heart and lung ailments, as well as skin conditions.
The campanula flower is frequently given as a sort of “thank you” gift, as these blossoms are often thought to represent gratitude. They are also given as symbols of affection, as they are sometimes said to symbolize constancy and everlasting love, as well as humility and delicacy. Although many species grow beautifully as potted plants, most people prefer to give these flowers in traditional bouquets – sometimes on their own, but often mixed with other symbolic blossoms.