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Alaska Wildflowers | Purple

Mountain harebell

Campanula lasiocarpa

Common Names:

Mountain Harebell
Alaska harebell
Alpine harebell

Synonyms:

Campanula lasiocarpa ssp. latisepala
Campanula latisepala

Genus: Campanula
Family: Campanulaceae (Bellflower)
Order: Campanulaceae
full classification

Duration:

Perennial

Uses

I found no direct sources of edibility or medicinal use. Wikipedia mentions that the flower has the taste of dandelion stems, but no source. The Native American Ethnobotany database lists no uses for mountain harebell. There is some documented use of the similar common harebell and alpine harebell for medicinal and ceremonial use. Given the often toxic nature of many purple flowers in Alaska, I would not advise using the plant for food.

Identification

Mountain harebell is a small, flowering alpine plant typically 5-15 cm (2-6 in) tall. It has a few oblanceolate or oblong toothed leaves at the base with smaller, narrower leaves higher along the stem. The flower is a solitary violet upright bell about 2.5-4 cm (1-1.5 inches) long. It has very narrow and toothed sepals, sometimes wooly.

Distribution and Habitat

Mountain harebell (Campanula lasiocarpa) is native to Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territory, British Columbia, Alberta, and Washington State. It is also found in Japan and eastern Russian islands. A few sources like pfaf.org (likely others referencing it) list its range extending to the Rocky Mountains, but I have seen no primary source information verifying that.

Campanula lasiocarpa grows mostly in rocky or sandy soils. Often found in rocky alpine meadows in full sun.

Classification

RankScientific Name (Common Name)
KingdomPlantae (Plants)
SubkingdomTracheobionta (Vascular plants)
SuperdivisionSpermatophyta (Seed plants)
DivisionMagnoliophyta (Flowering plants)
ClassMagnoliopsida (Dicotyledons)
SubclassAsteridae
OrderAsterales/Campanulales
FamilyCampanulaceae (Bellflower family)
GenusCampanula L. (bellflower)
SpeciesCampanula lasiocarpa Cham. (mountain harebell)

References and Further Reading

Field Guide to Alaskan Wildflowers, Pratt, Verna E. pg 6

Campanula lasiocarpa  Cham. Taxonomic Serial No.: 34486, ITIS Database

Campanula lasiocarpa Cham. mountain harebell, USDA database

Campanula lasiocarpa – Cham., Plants For A Future

Campanula lasiocarpa, www.campanula-campanulaceae.nl

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