What the heck is this flower I found in my yard. House is 114 years old,...
What the heck is this flower I found in my yard. House is 114 years old, These are likely around for many many years. I've been here 24 years and I just found them this summer. Location, north side of house in full shade with plants located under Colorado Blue Spruce and Oak trees about 50 feet high. Some are on the north slope of property in full shade. Bloom season appears to be from May through present time. Photo attached is not from my yard, rather a file photo I found online that is unidentified. Flowers are 24-32 inches tall. They are single stem plants with mostly straight stems although some are bent in middle stem then go straight again. blooms are 1 - 1.25 inches in diameter, lavender or light violet. each stem has 6-10 blooms. Blooms are singular on stem (not in clusters) and some point down while others vary to upward pointed of about 45 degrees from straight upward. Blooms are not stalked. Leaves are clasping I think. Blossums are 5 petals at tips but base is a single bell shape. does not appear to be 5 overlaping petals at base rather one single bell with 5 points that begin at 1/2 half way out from base of blossum.
I believe this is Creeping Bellflower:
I continued to look in my books and on the internet. I did look for creeping Bellflower and in my books found several varieties. The only thing that makes me wonder is that the texts all say that the flowers are on one side of the stem and mine are not. I then looked on yours and other sites and found the description of blooms on one side but pics showing blooms on all sides of the stem. Go figure. I think you are correct. The info says that these are invasive. Do you know if I can get in trouble for growing such noxious weeds in Anoka County? I also have lots of Orange Hawkweed which I find beauriful. I'd like to grow them both but don't want any trouble. Thank you for your efforts.
Well, not unlike all other living creatures, unless it's a clone you will see genetic variation expressed in plants. A child is not identical to his or her parent - and throw in environmental factors - certain strengths and weaknesses show up in response. But there is no confusing a dog with a human...they are different species.
Part of the reason Bellflower is listed as an invasive is the fact that it is (genetically) very adaptable to different sites. As is the Hawkweed! Both of these plants will colonize areas and shade out, or out-compete native plants (and other garden desirables). Both are beautiful in their own ways. They can be contained but it takes vigilance and knowledge to do so. Unless you are willing to keep these invaders under control in your yard and surrounding area (seeds can be airborne, and birds can move them too) it would be best to eliminate them from the environment.
Both of these plants have native cousins which are not invasive. Hawkweed is in the Aster family and there are many lovely plants with a similar look (unfortunately none of them are that brilliant orange color). Campanula also has varieties that are less invasive (and to my eye much prettier than C rapunculoides) as well.
It can be difficult to eradicate or even control these two invasive plants. You may be at it for years! In any event, you won't get into legal trouble.
Good luck, and thanks for contacting AaE.