Danesblood (Campanula glomerata) is also known as clustered bellflower. It is native to Europe and Great Britain. Danesblood is an erect, unbranched, hairy perennial. It grows between four and thirty-six inches high. The lower leaves are long stemmed. The upper leaves are narrower and clasp part of the stem. The flowers are funnel shaped and on the ends of the stems. They are deep blue to purple. Danesblood blooms all summer. They are hardy in zones three to eight.
Danesblood is so named because it is said to grow up after a battle everywhere that a Dane’s blood was spilt. Another explanation for the name is that it is a strong purgative and gives people what is commonly referred to as “the Danes,” or diarrhea.
Danesblood prefers full sun but in hot climates needs afternoon shade to protect it from getting too hot. It requires a moist alkaline soil. Danesblood is aggressive about multiplying. It spreads more rapidly in fertile soil than in poor soil.
When blooms are spent, deadhead them. This will prolong blooming. When blooming is finished, prune the stems that had blooms on them back to the basal leaves. Leave the foliage to feed the plant through the fall and winter. Cut the foliage back to the ground in early spring.
To propagate Danesblood, dig them up in the early fall. Divide them and replant. They need to be about three feet apart so they have room to spread out. This helps prevent disease by encouraging air circulation.
Danesblood has problems with slugs and snails, vine weevils, spider mites, and aphids. Slugs and snails can be killed by spreading bait for them. Be sure and get iron based slug bait as it is much safer than the older copper based bait. Neem oil will take care of the vine weevils, spider mites, and aphids. Make sure you completely cover the flowers, leaves (both sides), and the stems with the Neem oil to eradicate these pests.
Danesblood is also vulnerable to several diseases, including powdery mildew, rust, septoria leaf spot, ramularia leaf spot, and Southern blight. Proper air circulation and watering early in the morning so the plant leaves are dry by dark will go a long way towards preventing most of these diseases.
Powdery mildew does not need a wet leaf to grow on. It can thrive in hot, humid areas. Spraying your plant with Neem Oil will kill powdery mildew. Be sure and spray the tops and bottoms of each leaf.
Leaf spots are usually caused by fungi. Copper containing fungicides will control these problems. Copper containing fungicides may be permitted in organic gardening, depending on the particular fungicide. These fungicides will not cure affected leaves, which should be removed and disposed of in the trash. They will, however, prevent further infestations if used as a preventative. These fungicides should be applied starting at the beginning of the growing season and every ten to fourteen days thereafter.
Danesblood is deer and rabbit resistant. It attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Danesblood makes wonderful cut flowers that can last up to two weeks in a vase.