Harebells ’round the world


Go to any open rocky stretch of the North Shore right now, and you will likely find a familiar blue flower, bell-shaped, with leaves so skinny and round they almost look like grass. It’s a North Shore flower all right, but it’s found in dramatic landscapes all over the world. I took this photo last week in between cold-water swimming challenges with Chicago Max.

What we call harebell here is known as bluebell blueflower across the US, RundblÀttrige Glockenblume in the Alps, and liten blÄklocka in Sweden, where it has appeared on postage stamps.

One summer I saw it in bloom in rock cracks on the North Shore, then a week later in the North Dakota badlands, then a week later in the high alpine tundra of Montana. All of those places are nutrient-poor and can be quite dry.

Check out some great trivia here. This is a great flower, with lots of stories to tell. Keep your eyes out for the rare white-flowered version!


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