With its compact heads of violet, bell shaped flowers atop stiff upright stems clustered bellflower is a very striking if short grassland perennial. The general shape of the plant together with the vivid colour of its flowers can lead to it be misidentified for a gentian; however on closer inspection it can be seen that the leaves are alternate not opposite and that the structure of the flower is different. Flowers from June to October.
Clustered bellflower is primarily a plant of well drained calcareous soils particularly those on chalk and oolitic limestone. It can be found on a range of habitats including dune slacks, cliffs, scrub and open woodland but is most often associated with downs and lightly grazed grasslands. It can tolerate more closed, undisturbed habitats, where it regenerates vegetatively by means of lateral spread, but does best on grazed or cut grasslands.
Best sown in the autumn.