Bell-shaped flowers make for a fascinating addition to any garden. The unique shape of the flowers can come in virtually any color depending on the species, all exhibiting the namesake bell-like shape of the drooping petals.
In most cases, bell-shaped flowers are planted as ornamentals, making them ideal for hanging baskets and borders alike. Bell-shaped flowers are also generally easy to grow and maintain, with most species simply enjoying lots of sunlight and moist, well-drained soil.
Whether you’re looking to enhance your garden to expand your knowledge of flowers, you’ve come to the right place. Here is our guide to 14 bell-shaped flowers for your garden!
1. Bellflower (Campanula)
As the name suggests, bellflowers are known for their distinctive bell-shaped flowers. The campanula genus holds around 500 species of bellflower found across the Northern Hemisphere, with most distributed in the Mediterranean area.
Bellflowers can range in heights and colors, including dwarf species and taller ones that grow amongst grassland. In most cases, a bellflower consists of panicles of flowers that bloom in a single stem, featuring around five petals pointed upright in a bell shape. The most common colors are lilac, blue, pink, and white.
Bellflowers are popularly grown at the edge of borders and are easy to grow. They typically prefer to grow in full sunlight and moist, well-drained soil with frequent watering throughout the week. They can be grown from either rhizomes or seeds.
2. Bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta)
Most popularly known as a symbol for the start of spring, bluebells are commonly found in woodlands and open habitats in the British Isles, Spain, and other parts of the Atlantic areas. These fragrant flowers are ideal for adding a blanket of color and attracting pollinating wildlife to a garden.
Bluebells are perennials that prefer to be planted in fall, allowing for enough time to establish and grow in time to bloom during spring. They produce an inflorescence of drooping bell-shaped flowers consisting of six violet-blue petals that delicately curl at the ends.
Bluebells are fairly hardy and easy to grow thanks to their tolerance to frost (which is why they are best planted in fall). They prefer to grow in moist soils and partial shade. While they grow beautifully in a border, some will grow them in containers as bluebells are poisonous to pets and children.
3. Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)
Foxgloves are a flowering species native to temperate Europe and naturalized in North America. The tall stems can grow between 1-2 meters tall, exhibiting a cluster of tubular purple flowers that grow up the stem. Some foxgloves also appear in pink, yellow, and white varieties.
Common foxgloves are either short-lived perennials or biennials with a 2-year lifespan that produces an array of vibrant flowers in summer. Their height makes them ideal for planting towards the back of a border for some height variation. The drooping, tubular shape of the flowers will produce and drop seeds to encourage new growth after the plant’s life cycle.
Foxgloves like to grow in full sunlight with partial shade (especially when growing in hot climates). These self-seeders like deep watering once a week in well-drained soil.
4. Bells of Ireland (Moluccella laevis)
Bells of Ireland (also known as the shellflower) is a tall flowering plant that looks something like a foxglove. Despite the name, bells of Ireland are native to the Caucasus, Turkey, and Syria. According to the language of flowers, bells of Ireland plants are a symbol of luck, hence the reference to Ireland.
These are fast-growers that grow up to 1 meter tall, exhibiting a dense cluster of flowers that cover the whole stalk. The flowers themselves are white and small, and encompassed by light green calyces, which are essentially larger petals or leaves. Due to the drooping tubular shape of the flowers, these plants are self-seeders.
Bells of Ireland look particularly striking at the back of a border or cut (and even dried) in a floral arrangement. They prefer to grow in humid, hot climates with lots of watering.
5. Lily of the valley
Lily of the valley is a humble woodland flower native to cool, temperate habitats across the Northern Hemisphere. These flowers are fairly fast-growing, which is why they are generally considered an invasive species in North America. Lily of the valley flowers are notoriously poisonous for humans and animals to consume.
These herbaceous perennials produce a raceme of small, white bell-shaped flowers that typically hang on one side, making the plant droop. They will flower in late spring, producing a charming sweet fragrance. This scent makes them ideal for growth along pathways and hanging baskets. After flowering, they produce red berries.
Lily of the valleys are best planted in fall to establish proper growth before the dormant season. They require partial shade and moist, well-drained soil.
6. Snowdrops (Galanthus)
As the name suggests, snowdrops are hardy perennials that are extremely tolerant to frost and typically grow between late winter and early spring. Snowdrop is actually a genus of around 20 species, all native to Europe and the Middle East and naturalized virtually everywhere else.
These are small flowering plants that typically only grow between 3-6 inches tall, which is why they’re so commonly planted at the edge of a border. They produce drooping, pure white bell-shaped flowers, often with hints of green or yellow depending on the species.
Snowdrops are best planted in early fall, but they are known to take a couple of years to establish and mature. These hardy flowers can even bloom in snow, so they can be planted pretty much anywhere in a garden.
7. Angel’s trumpet (Brugmansia)
Angel’s trumpet is the nickname of a genus of around 7 flower species. Unfortunately, as no wild flowers have been confirmed, these species are considered Extinct in the Wild on the IUCN Red List. Human cultivation is the reason why the species still exist, making the Angel’s trumpet a treasured flower in a garden.
Angel’s trumpets are typically fast-growing small trees or shrubs that produce large, tubular, trumpet-shaped flowers (hence the name). These flowers are typically light yellow but can also appear pink, white, red, orange, or green. They produce a pleasant fragrance, making the flowers lovely to walk past.
Angel’s trumpets grow best in tropical regions. They grow best in containers for two reasons: to easily bring them inside during winter, and because the flowers are poisonous to animals and humans.
8. Coral bells (Heuchera sanguinea)
Coral bells are a colorful bell-shaped flower species native to New Mexico, Arizona, and parts of northern Mexico. These dainty flowers grow in round mounds producing small pinkish-red (or coral, hence the name) bell-shaped flowers that work brilliantly to blend the edge of a border.
Despite their name, coral bells also come in yellow, purple, rose, and green varieties. They are great for attracting pollinating wildlife thanks to their vivid flowers that bloom from late spring to early summer.
Coral bells are pretty easy to grow and maintain, as they generally can grow anywhere in a garden as long as the soil is moist and well-drained. They prefer to grow in partial sunlight to mimic their natural woodland habitat.
9. Daffodils (Narcissus)
Daffodil is the nickname of a genus of flowering plants most commonly known as a symbol for the start of spring. These wildflowers are native to woodlands and meadows in Europe and North Africa, and are cultivated widely for their fantastic coloration.
The national flower of Wales, the daffodil is a bulbiferous plant featuring a long hollow stem and a solitary flower. The flower is typically yellow but also comes in white or green varieties, with the petals shaped in a bell-like structure. These flowers may droop like a pendant, or they might stand up and erect.
Daffodils are best planted in fall in a clumped structure to create a mass of yellow once they bloom. They prefer well-drained soil with lots of access to sunlight, but they don’t like being too moist or too dry.
Fuschia is a genus of approximately 122 species of flowering plants native to South America, Central America, New Zealand, and Tahiti. They naturally grow in tropical and subtropical climates, but they can also be grown as an annual in cooler climates during winter.
Fuschias are small shrubs that produce delicate and decorative flowers, consisting of four smaller bell-shaped petals in the center and four longer petals on the outside. The colors are typically pink, purple, orange, red, and combinations. The hanging flowers look particularly effective in a hanging basket.
Fuschia flowers prefer to grow in cooler climates and can happily be taken indoors during the snow. They like partial shade and moisture-retentive soil.
11. Snakehead fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris)
Also known as the checkered daffodil or snake’s head (above other nicknames), the snakehead fritillary is a Eurasian flower species belonging to the lily family. The name “snakehead fritillary” came from the flower’s distinctive appearance, wherein the blooms look like a snake’s head.
Snakehead fritillary flowers produce a bell-shaped flower with a unique checkered pattern, which is why they are often called the chess flower. They come in shades of pink, purple, burgundy, and white. These flowers bloom between March and May and will naturally grow by river beds.
Thanks to their natural habitat, the snakehead fritillary prefers damp and shaded environments and cool climates. They look particularly good next to a fish pond.
12. Canterbury bell flower (Campanula medium)
Also known as Canterbury bells, the Canterbury bellflower is a bellflower species native to southern Europe, and distributed across Europe and North America. In the language of flowers, the Canterbury bell flower is a symbol of faith and gratitude.
Canterbury bells are charming flowers that resemble drinking glasses thanks to their long petals and deep bell-shaped form. These violet-blue flowers are solitary and bloom on single erect stems that can grow up to 30 inches tall. With a flowering period between May and July, they are popularly grown at the edges of borders.
Not only this, but Canterbury bells naturally grow in rocky habitats, making them a great addition to a rock garden. They like to grow in well-drained soil and partial shade.
13. Grape hyacinth (Muscari)
Grape hyacinths are perennial bulbous flowering plants native to Eurasia. As the name suggests, these look like smaller hyacinths that produce flowers resembling purple grapes. However, they aren’t to be confused with hyacinths, as they’re not actually related.
Grape hyacinths grow up to 25 cm, creating lovely height variation in a border. They consist of green spikes with dense clusters of bell-shaped blue or violet-blue flowers. These flowers typically bloom in spring.
Aside from their beauty, grape hyacinths are popular in gardens for their hardy and easy growth. They can tolerate drought and enjoy both full sun and partial shade, and will tend to grow back after each year.
14. Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia)
Also known as the calico bush, mountain laurel is a pleasant flowering shrub known for producing delicate blooms found in cottage-themed gardens. These flowers are native across the eastern United States in mountainous forests and rocky areas.
An evergreen shrub, the mountain laurel will grow up to 9 meters tall, producing fascinating hexagonal bell-shaped flowers that are white with pink accents. Other cultivars include maroon, red, and dark pink varieties.
Mountain laurels grow best in rock gardens and at the back of borders, as long as they grow in partial to full shade and well-drained soil.
Bell-shaped flowers are undoubtedly one of the most popular types of flowers to grow in a garden. Whether you’re looking for an addition to a border, hanging basket, rock garden, or floral arrangement, bell-shaped flowers provide just enough variation to make for a stunning feature.