How to Grow Phyteuma Plants

Guide to Growing Rampion, and Pride of Sussex.

Members of the Phyteuma genus are rosette forming hardy perennials.

They have a large range in height from as little as 5 cm up to 90 cm (2 to 36 inches) , this makes them ideal for many different parts of the garden. For best results, use smaller varieties in the rock garden or to fill in the gaps in drystone walling.

Phyteuma blooms in the summer, and depending on the species may have spiked or barbed shaped flowers of purple, blue or white.

One of the common names for these plants is Rampion.

Phyteuma nigrum
Phyteuma nigrum (Schwarze Teufelskralle) by Frank.Vassen.

Phyteuma Growing and Care Guide

  • Common Names: Rampion (Spiked, Round-headed). Pride of Sussex.
  • Life Cycle: Hardy perennial.
  • Height: 2 to 36 inches (5—90 cm).
  • Native:
  • Growing Region: Zones 5 to 8.

  • Flowers: Summer.
  • Flower Details: Purple, white, blue, pink. Spiked/ Round-headed. Barbed. Dense panicles.
  • Foliage: Herbaceous. Rosette. Alternate. Petiolate (stalked).

  • Sowing:Cover seed. Germination time: one to three months. Spacing 8 to 18 inches (20—45 cm).
    Seed: Method 1: Seeds should first be sown into flats in the autumn. Next sink the flat into the ground in an area that offers shade, preferably close to a wall that faces north. Provide a glass/plastic covering. Keep an eye on the flats to ensure that the soil remains moist. Bring the flats indoor at the beginning of spring and keep at 60 to 70°F (16—21°C). Transplant seedlings well after the last frost.
    Seed: Method 2: In the spring, mix seeds in a moist growing medium, then put in flats, wrap in a large plastic bag, then stratify by refrigeration for three weeks. Next bury the flat as described above. Once seedlings emerge transplant them to their final location.

  • Requirements and care: Full sunlight or light shade in hot areas. Lime, sandy/gritty soil. Light, fertile soil. Regular watering during dry periods. Once established do not disturb roots. Propagate: by dividing in the spring in cooler areas or the autumn in warmer areas.
  • Family: Campanulaceae.
  • Closely Related Species: Bellflowers.
  • Miscellaneous: Alpine plant. Rapunzel is the local name for a variety of Rampion that featured in the Grimm’s fairy tale of the same name. Rampion is also used as a common name for the Campanula rapunculus plant.

How to Grow Rampion and other Phyteuma

When growing Rampion outdoors from seeds it is best to start in the spring.

The seeds should be sowed on the soil surface into flats. The flat should then be wrapped in a plastic bag and placed in the fridge for about three weeks.

The flat should then be removed from the plastic bag and sank into the ground in an area of the garden that is fully shaded, and covered with glass to retain humidity.

It should take from between one to three months for the Phyteuma seeds to germinate.

The seedlings should then be transplanted. Locate in a sunny or lightly shaded part of the garden.

If you purchase Rampion from a garden centre, then plant them in the garden in mid spring, when there is no chance of a late frost.

Depending on the Phyteuma species, they should be spaced from 20 cm (8 inches; small) to 45 cm (18 inches; large) apart.

Caring for Phyteuma

Phyteuma plants like to grow in a light, gritty or sandy soil, that is limy and fertile.

The plants are easy to care for, simply water them when in prolonged dry spells. If you require more plants then they can be propagated by division in the autumn.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Phyteuma plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Jasione, Cercis canadensis plant, and Lobelia plants.