What is the meaning of bellflowers

What is the meaning of bellflowers?

Bellflowers primarily mean gratitude, as they have mostly been given as a sincere gift to say thanks to someone that has helped, showed kindness, or supported you.

In addition, the flowers represent true love, steadfastness, and excitement, as they bloom beautifully on a single stem.

Continue reading this guide to know more about bellflowers. We talk about their meaning and symbolism and cultural importance, among other things.

Bellflowers General Info

Bellflowers General Info

Genus: Campanula

Family: Campanulaceae

Life Cycle: Annual, biennial, or perennial 

Native Habitat: Mediterranean region

The pretty bellflowers are native to meadows, forests, and riverbanks in the Mediterranean region, but they’re rife in Asia and North America too.

Their native home has moderate day and cooler night temperatures. Their flowering season is in the summer months of June and July.

The demure plant is great at beautifying garden borders and beds. They’re also excellent as classic floral gifts.

They belong to the genus Campanula, which has over 500 annual, biennial, and perennial herb varieties of the family Campanulaceae.

Bellflowers Botanical Description

Bellflowers Botanical Description

As their name suggests, these delicate plants sport bell-shaped flowers.

They have five petals with the entire bloom facing down or to the side and measuring one inch across. Usually, the leaves are pinnate (feather-like) or lobed (rounded), depending on the bellflower variety.

As opposed to other flowers, they uniquely grow in clusters along a stable and healthy stem.

The smallest bellflowers grow up to 6 inches tall, whereas the largest ones can grow up to an amazing 5 feet!

And bellflowers come in a set of shades including blue, which is the most common, as well as pink, purple, and white.

Bellflowers Word Origin

Bellflowers Word Origin

Bellflower’s genus name, Campanula, is the New Latin word for “little bells.”

Further tracing the word in history, campanula is a diminutive of Late Latin campāna, meaning bell, which accurately pertains to the plant’s well-known bell-shaped flowers.

Bellflowers and Their Meaning

Bellflowers and Their Meaning

As we have been saying, bellflowers have a cluster of blooms reminding us of bells. Bells, on their own, have a few symbolic meanings.

These stand for beginnings and endings, attention, command, celebration, and even ice cream to some.

Since a bell symbolizes endings, it can also mean death and farewell. In fact, bellflowers are often used to honor a departed person’s life and are laid on or by gravestones or gravesites.

Now, going to its general meaning, bellflowers have deep and rich connotations, as it expresses attraction, faithfulness, devotion, humility, maturity, and best of all, everlasting love.

Bellflower Meaning by Color

Bellflower Meaning by Color

Different colors can also add or change the bellflower’s meaning. We’ll discuss each of them below:

  • Blue

Blue is the most common bellflower color. It’s a fantastic color, as it symbolizes trust and commitment, bravery, calmness, serenity, rejuvenation, and peace.

Blue bellflowers also give the impression of security and reliability, perfect for a friend that’s there for you in times of need.

You can also give blue bellflowers to someone who is stressed out at work or someone celebrating a wedding anniversary.

Mixing blue bellflowers with other kinds of flowers like lilies, geraniums, or hollies can make for an elegant table centerpiece too.

  • Purple

Purple is a noble color having the qualities of red, blue, and violet. They suggest dignity, grace, luxury, refinement, and spiritual awareness, among other remarkable qualities.

Being a cooler, calmer color, purple also symbolizes everlasting love, which is a higher, more unconditional form of love, compared to red’s hot, passionate love.

You can gift purple bellflowers to people you so admire and love, like a teacher, friend, or parent.

Not to mention, purple bellflowers meld well with other flower hues in your yard or garden, which can add greatly to your house’s curb appeal.

  • White

Although they’re harder to find, white bellflowers exist and are commercially available. They signify inner peace, calmness, purity, innocence, and cleanliness.

They also connote a clean slate that helps you to start anew with a new attitude and a new mindset in dealing with the world.

In the spiritual sense, white bellflowers can also mean wholeness and completion as well as light. 

Hence, the perfect events to give white bellflowers are baby showers, first communions, weddings, and the like.

  • Pink

One popular bellflower color is pink. It conveys gentleness, kindness, and first love.

Other meanings associated with pink are infatuation, playfulness, and femininity. Note that it has negative impressions of flirtatiousness and lust as well.

Pink bellflowers suit almost any event or occasion. It’s certainly perfect to give them on Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and birthdays.

Giving them lets the other person know that you’re thinking of or missing them. And they’re so likable that it’s unlikely that the person will refuse the gift, especially if you’re courting them.

Bellflowers in History

Bellflowers in History

Bellflowers have taken different significance across eras, cultures, and religions.

In Ancient Rome

For Ancient Romans, the bellflower represented the Roman goddess of love, beauty, and desire, Venus. Besides that, it stood for self-importance or admiring one’s looks or gifts excessively.

In Roman myth, it goes that one day, Venus had an enchanted mirror that could reveal all things beautiful on Earth.

She had suddenly lost this mirror for some reason, but soon, a shepherd luckily stumbled upon it and kept it for himself.

In turn, Venus asked her son, who is the Roman god of erotic love, Cupid, to find the lost mirror. As soon as he found the shepherd, he shot an arrow at the person’s hand, causing him to drop the mirror to the ground.

Thereupon, the mirror shattered into a million pieces. The Venus’s looking glass bellflower is named so in reference to the shards of the broken mirror in this Roman myth.

This bellflower variety, also called Legousia, is known for its small and bountiful glossy seeds.

In Christianity

Harebells (also known as Scottish bluebells) are part of the same genus as bellflowers. So, technically, one can also classify harebells as bellflowers.

In Christianity, the harebell is considered a symbol of gratitude. It came from the legend that the people dedicated harebells to St. Dominic when praying.

The said saint is the founder of the Dominican or Roman Catholic order of the church.

Also, if you take a look at harebells, you’ll see that they have bowing flowers and bending foliage, which is said to symbolize St. Dominic’s devotion and faith.

In the Victorian Era

During the Victorian era, which roughly spanned from 1820 to 1914, bellflowers were one of the most beloved flowers featured in floriography or the “language of flowers.”

Floriography attached to the flower the meanings of gratitude, attraction, and true love. 

Victorian lovers dried these flowers and included them in their letters, hung them in a frame, and gave a bouquet gift of bellflowers to tell their darling they were crazy about them.

Tips in Caring for Bellflowers

Tips in Caring for Bellflowers

Do you want to grow bellflowers in your garden? Lucky for you, bellflowers are quite tough and can withstand harsh weather.

Even so, you have to take great care of them so that they will grow to be charming and healthy. Below are some useful tips for maintaining them.

  • Sunlight: Bellflowers love to get full sunshine, but if it’s too hot, put them in a shaded or partly shaded spot.
  • Soil: Give the plant loose and well-drained soil. Adding organic matter to the soil will greatly benefit its growth while promoting more flowers to bloom.

Furthermore, keep the soil slightly alkaline with a pH range of 6 to 8.

  • Water: Watering the plant should be done deeply at least once a week and more frequently during sweltering days. 
  • Fertilizer: Use a high-quality and balanced fertilizer such as one with a 10-10-10 balance for bellflowers. Feed them with plant food during early spring.
  • Mulch: You can also apply mulch around the plants to help their roots stay cool during the summer.
  • Pruning: Pruning isn’t required, but if you have to, remove the flowers and the seed pods to encourage the plant to bear more flowers and grow nicely.

And note that this should be done in late winter or early spring.

FAQs about Bellflowers

FAQs about Bellflowers
  1. What does a bellflower tattoo symbolize?

The bellflower tattoo can symbolize true love for someone, modesty, and religious connection. It’s a wonderful, underrated flower that many people don’t get as a tattoo.

If you want to be reminded about someone you love and care about or to stay present and calm in the midst of suffering, then getting a bellflower tattoo could indeed be a great idea!

  1. What are the uses of a bellflower?

Bellflower has a range of uses in medicine and cooking.

The Chinese bellflower, in particular, can relieve symptoms brought by coughing and the common cold, such as a stuffy nose, sore throat, and chest congestion.

In cooking, bellflowers are used to decorate soup and salad dishes as well as desserts, even though the flowers don’t have any taste. As for the leaves, they’re said to have a refreshingly mild taste that can also be used as a garnish.

  1. Are bellflowers toxic to humans?

Bellflowers aren’t toxic and poisonous to humans and pets. In fact, both the flowers and leaves can be touched and eaten, so there’s no need to worry about having them in your house or outside it.

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