Description from Flora of China
Herbs, lactiferous, perennial (often with rhizomes or caudices), less often annual, [or shrubs or trees outside of China]. Leaves estipulate, alternate (rarely opposite or whorled), simple, entire or variously toothed or dissected, petiolate or sessile. Flowers tetracyclic, perfect, with a specialized method of proterandrous secondary pollen presentation, resupinate in Lobelioideae, solitary in an axillary or less often terminal position, or aggregated into terminal or axillary inflorescences that appear racemose or paniculate (rarely capitate), pedicellate or rarely sessile; bracts leaflike or reduced, rarely absent; pedicels often bracteolate. Calyx synsepalous, adnate to ovary and forming a hypanthium (free in Cyananthus); lobes (3-)5(-10), valvate, sometimes with a reflexed appendage in each sinus, in some Codonopsis, inserted well below rim of hypanthium. Corolla sympetalous, actinomorphic or zygomorphic, most often some shade of blue or violet, or white; lobes (4 or)5(-10), valvate. Stamens equaling number of corolla lobes, antisepalous, distinct, coherent, or connate; anthers tetrasporangiate, dithecal, introrsely dehiscent by longitudinal slits, basifixed. Gynoecium syncarpous, 2-5(-10)-locular with axile placentation, [rarely 1-locular with parietal, basal, or apical placentation outside of China]; ovary at least partly inferior (superior in Cyananthus), sometimes crowned by an annular or tubular nectary; style solitary, pubescent with pollen-collecting hairs below apex; stigma typically with as many lobes as ovary locules. Fruit a capsule, commonly apically loculicidal or laterally poricidal, or a berry. Seeds usually small, numerous; embryo small, straight; endosperm copious, oily or rarely starchy.
Two of us (Lammers and Klein) do not agree with the separation of Leptocodon and Campanumoea from Codonopsis in this treatment. We consider that the single character used in each case, five lamellar glands alternate with the stamens in Leptocodon and baccate fruit in Campanumoea, is not sufficient to justify recognition of a distinct genus. We regard these two genera as embedded within Codonopsis, as was done by Lammers (in C. I. Peng, Phytogeogr. Bot. Invent. Taiwan, 43-61. 1992), Morris and Lammers (Bot. Bull. Acad. Sin. 38: 277-284. 1997), Lammers (in T. C. Huang, Fl. Taiwan, ed. 2, 4: 775-802. 1998), Lammers (in Kubitzki [Kadereit & Jeffrey], Fam. Gen. Vasc. Pl. 8: 26-56. 2007), and Lammers (World Checkl. Bibliogr. Campanulaceae. 262-273. 2007). On the other hand, one of us (Hong) notes that two characters distinguish Leptocodon from Codonopsis. One is the five lamellar glands and the other is the shape of the stigma segments, which are clavate in Leptocodon but orbicular-deltoid in Codonopsis. Campanumoea differs from Codonopsis not only in having baccate fruit but also in its pollen, which is shortly 5-colpate (vs. 5-8-long-colpate in the core group of Codonopsis). Campanumoea is not a very distinct genus, and it seems that it would be equally reasonable to sink it into Codonopsis or to separate it. However, if it were sunk, then it would also be reasonable to sink Adenophora into Campanula because the former genus differs from the latter only in having a nectar disk around the style.
Pentaphragma Wallich ex G. Don and Sphenoclea Gaertner were included in Campanulaceae in FRPS but are treated in this volume as Pentaphragmataceae and Sphenocleaceae, respectively. See the notes under those two families.
Hong De-yuan, Lian Yong-shan & Shen Lian-dai. 1983. Campanulaceae (Campanuloideae and Lobelioideae). In: Hong De-yuan, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 73(2): 1-173.
T. G. Lammers. 1998. Campanulaceae. In: Tseng-Chieng Huang, ed., Fl. Taiwan, ed. 2, 4: 775-802.
Eighty-six genera and over 2,300 species: cosmopolitan; 16 genera (one endemic, two introduced) and 159 species (77 endemic, two introduced) in China.
(Authors: Hong Deyuan (洪德元), Ge Song (葛颂)1; Thomas G. Lammers, Laura L. Klein2)