… or at least I thought I was going native by letting these Common Ladybells – Adenophora confusa? Adenophora stricta? Adenophora liliifolia? – pop up and grow here and there among my perennial beds. Confusa’d is right!
OR these may not be Common Ladybells at all, but Creeping Bellflower, Campanula rapunculoides, deemed to be a noxious weed, invasive, and even EVIL! Apparently there is a way to determine the difference … something about a glandular disk, bumpy appendage, flat base and sticking style … For those of you who would really like to know resources include Campanula rapunculoides, The Evil Twin and Adenophora and its “Evil Twin” revisited.
Either way, all of the above are European cultivations gone wild. A TRUE native to this area (NY) is Harebell or Bluebell Bellflower, Campanula rotundifolia, which has delicate, whispy stems.
But since I have observed many bees and hummingbirds use these not-really-native flowers, should I let them grow wild within the confines of my garden? I don’t usually let the seedheads stand over the winter to keep them under control. They are not taking over.
There are those that believe going native is to only grow plants native to the specific area of which they are in. Others that believe growing plants native to North America in suitable conditions is perfectly acceptable. Still others grow natives alongside exotics and cultivars. I am not sure where I fall on this scale. For now, Ladybells and Barberry live in my garden. Most of my plant purchases now seriously consider native origins but since I am a plant addict, I find it difficult to resist a beautiful bloom or leaf color. Hmmm …