A delicate perennial with graceful, slender stems, usually in clusters, rising in height from 4-15 in. The stems can be weak so that the entire plant bends over. Its rounded, basal leaves wither early while the narrow, stem leaves remain. Blue-violet bell-shaped flowers hang singly or in clusters along the top parts of nodding, thread-like, mostly unbranched stems that grow in small patches. The nodding, bell-shaped, lavender flowers are borne in loose clusters at stem tips.
The genus name, from the Latin campana (“bell”), means “little bell.” The name Harebell may allude to an association with witches, who were believed able to transform themselves into hares, portents of bad luck when they crossed a person’s path.