Chiming Blooms: Understanding the Depths of Bellflower Symbolism

As a roadside flower now spread to many parts of the world, Bellflowers are an eye-catching blue or purple addition to any meadow. They’re a large genus that includes hundreds of species, including quite a few attributed with insightful symbolism. Here we’ll take you through everything you need to know about the meaning and symbolism of Bellflowers in the language of flowers.

Ultimate Guide to Bellflowers (Campanula)

Key Takeaways

In the language of flowers, Bellflowers carry several complementing symbolic meanings. Some cultures consider it a symbol of gratitude, while others assign it a meaning of constancy, support, romance, or even vanity. The color of the exact bloom also affects the symbolism of the Bellflower.

Etymological Meaning

No matter the name, all Bellflower references point back to the bell shape of the flower. The common name has an obvious etymology, but even Campanula is the diminutive form of bell in Latin.

Bellflower Meaning & Symbolism

A close up shot of flowering purple Bellflower

Traditionally, Bellflowers have carried the symbolic meaning of gratitude, constancy, support, and romance. Regardless of the specific species or variety, Bellflowers share a common set of meanings and symbolism. 

However, each blossom has a slightly different meaning depending on its specific color. Make sure to take all symbolic factors into account before planning out a flower bed or bouquet that you want to communicate a certain message.

Common Bellflower Colors and Their Meaning

The color of the Bellflower blooms plays a role in the specific meaning of each flower. This genus provides a surprising variety of colors across its nearly 500 species. Variations on the common meaning of Bellflowers include:

  • Cream, which means thoughtfulness, grace, elegance, hope, and peace.
  • Blue, which means tranquility, healing, calming, openness, and friendship.
  • Purple, means royalty, elegance, wealth, success, and tradition.
  • Magenta, can mean universal love, excitement, romantic love, and hope for success.
  • Pink, means joy, youthfulness, platonic or familial love, gratitude, admiration, and happiness.

The Cultural Significance of Bellflowers

A field of flowering purple Bellflowers

Multiple cultures have attached meaning to this genus of flowers. Pick and choose different meanings for Bellflowers to give your bouquets a whole new layer of symbolism.

Bellflowers in Ancient Roman Mythology

One species of Bellflower, in particular, is linked to the beauty of Venus and her vanity. She was known to have a magical mirror that showed her the most beautiful things in the world. When she lost it, a shepherd found it and kept it. Venus asked her son Cupid to find the mirror for her. When he found it with the shepherd, he had to shoot it from the man’s hand. This broke the mirror into many tiny pieces. The Venus’ Looking Glass Bellflower takes its name from this myth because of its shiny seeds.

Bellflowers in The Victorian Flower Language

White or cream-colored Bellflowers, in particular, were popular among Victorians for bouquets and symbolic arrangements. This attractive bloom was considered to carry a meaning of gratitude during this period. 

It was commonly given as a way of thanking someone who had done a favor for you. It could also convey a romantic meaning if chosen in a magenta or pink color instead. 

Pyramid-shaped Bellflower blooms were considered to represent constancy instead of symbolically. It was often used to indicate a desire to remain committed to someone despite difficulties.

Bellflowers Christian Symbolism

The meaning of gratitude is often attributed to the Bellflower, and this meaning comes directly from Christian myth. Harebells, in particular, or Campanula rotundifolia, were considered to be dedicated to St. Dominic

He was an ascetic Christian monk who founded the Dominican order of the church. The flower’s sparse foliage and nodding flowers are reminiscent of his penitence and focus. Harebells were also widely mentioned by William Shakespeare in multiple sonnets and poems.

Suitable Gifting Occasions

Bellflowers composed in a vase sitting on a table

Due to their many layers of meaning, different types of bellflowers can be used in various arrangements. For example, pink or red-colored bellflowers may be perfect for a romantic meaning of consistency in a wedding bouquet. 

Conversely, it’s possible to send a message of gratitude and support with sprigs of blue or purple blooms.

Wrap Up

Campanula is a genus of beautiful flowers rich in history and meaning. If you live in a temperate or cooler area, add some to your landscape, or consider using bellflowers in your floral arrangements.

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