Hexaploid Harebells

According to Julia Wilson at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Edinburgh and her collaborators: “Campanula rotundifolia (Harebell) is widespread and cytologically diverse in the British Isles. Hexaploids have an oceanic, westerly/northerly distribution, tetraploids are more easterly/southern, and occasional pentaploids occur”.

See http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/54136/  and


Last autumn at the BSBI Scottish Annual Meeting, Julia displayed a ploidy map for Scotland showing the hexaploids mostly restricted to the islands. However, there was a large gap for Skye.  A sample taken this week and sent to her has confirmed that at least this Skye population  is hexaploid too:


Campanula at Sligachan

Campanula Closer-up

Campanula Closer-up

The verge is cut every year destroying most of the colony but it seems to hang on. This is the only colony I have seen on Skye – though it is common on Eigg and Muck.  Martin Perry reported some near Loch Coruisk  in 2009 but it seems to have gone from the triangle in the roads above Uig and it would be really nice if some of the old sites could be re-found.  I have put a map on my website here and as usual more details of sites are available from me.


2 Responses to “Hexaploid Harebells”

  1. Steve Terry Says:

    Happy to have a go at some of the southern sites – details please!

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