Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia).

HAREBELL (sometimes wrongly written Hairbell), known also as the blue-bell of Scotland, and witches’ thimbles, a well-known perennial wild flower, Campanula rotundifolia, a member of the natural order Campanulaceae. The harebell has a very slender slightly creeping root-stock, and a wiry, erect stem. The radical leaves, that is, those at the base of the stem, to which the specific name rotundifolia refers, have long stalks, and are roundish or heart-shaped with crenate or serrate margin; the lower stem leaves are ovate or lanceolate, and the upper ones linear, subsessile, acute and entire, rarely pubescent. The flowers are slightly drooping, arranged in a panicle, or in small specimens single, having a smooth calyx, with narrow pointed erect segments, the corolla bell-shaped, with slightly recurved segments, and the capsule nodding, and opening by pores at the base. There are two varieties:—(a) genuina, with slender stem leaves, and (b) montana, in which the lower stem-leaves are broader and somewhat elliptical in shape. The plant is found on heaths and pastures throughout Great Britain and flowers in late summer and in autumn; it is widely spread in the north temperate zone. The harebell has ever been a great favourite with poets, and on account of its delicate blue colour has been considered as an emblem of purity.