bellflower

bellflower

[bel-flou-er]
bellflower or bluebell, name commonly used as a comprehensive term for members of the Campanulaceae, a family of chiefly herbaceous annuals or perennials of wide distribution, characteristically found on dry slopes in temperate and subtropical areas. Members of the large genus Campanula, predominantly of the Northern Hemisphere, are called campanulas, bellflowers (for the delicate, bell-shaped blossoms), or bluebells (for the prevailing color of the flowers). Among the most popular cultivated species are the harebell, or bluebell of Scotland (C. rotundifolia), native to Eurasia and North America, and the Canterbury bells (C. medium), native to S Europe. (The names bluebell and harebell are also used for Scilla nonscripta of the lily family.) Venus's looking-glass (genus Specularia) is found in the Mediterranean area and throughout North America. The giant bellflower (Ostrowskya magnifica), native to central Asia, attains a height of 8 ft (2.4 m); it is cultivated in the Puget Sound region. The family Lobeliaceae (lobelia family) is grouped with the bellflower family as a single taxonomic unit. The bellflower family is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Campanulales.

Bellflower (Campanula)

Any of about 300 annual, perennial, and biennial herbaceous plants of the genus Campanula (family Campanulaceae) that bear bell-shaped, usually blue flowers. They are native mainly to northern temperate regions in both hemispheres, Mediterranean areas, and tropical mountains. Distribution and habitat may be quite diverse. Species native to northern Eurasia and eastern North America but also grown in gardens are the bluebell (C. rotundifolia) and the tall bellflower (C. americana). The creeping bellflower (C. rapunculoides) is a notorious garden weed. Among the few food plants in the bellflower family, which includes a total of 40 genera and 700 species, are the rampion (C. rapunculus), eaten as a vegetable in parts of Europe, and some robust members—especially Canarina, Clermontia, and Centropogon—that produce edible berries.

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Bellflower is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States, and is a suburb of Los Angeles. It was incorporated on September 3, 1957. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 72,878.

The city derives its name from a mispronunciation of belle fleur, a variety of apple tree. Originally settled by dairy farmers of Dutch, Japanese, and Portuguese descent, Bellflower and neighboring Paramount served as the milk production centers for Southern California until soaring post-World War II property values motivated most of the farmers to move several miles east to the Dairy Valley/Dairyland/Dairy City area (now the cities of Cerritos, La Palma, and Cypress). Seemingly overnight, the city's pastures and farms were replaced by sprawling subdivisions of inexpensive, largely prefabricated single-story houses. In the 1950s and 1960s, Bellflower Boulevard, the city's main thoroughfare, was a thriving commercial strip. However, suburban growth in Orange County and the San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys made Bellflower's relatively humble housing tracts decidedly unattractive, and by the 1990s much of its original population--and the businesses that served it--had left and the city began to show signs of urban problems. The departed were replaced by just about every ethnicity imaginable, which renders daily communication impossible, to the extent that the "A-B-C" region, formed by Bellflower and neighboring Artesia and Cerritos, is considered one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse in the United States. Bellflower Boulevard has recovered some of its previous business traffic in the last decade. The urban problems Bellflower experienced in the 1980s and 1990's were made worse by a city council that didn't want to spend any money to revitalize the city's aethetics nor was it willing to help bring new businesses to the city. Starting in 2000, the city council was infused with new members and a desire and drive to improve the city of Bellflower. Bellflower has spent millions to beautify the city in recent years. In the last 8 years, new businesses have flooded the city.

Geography

Bellflower is located at (33.888165, -118.127604).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.9 km² (6.2 mi²). 15.7 km² (6.1 mi²) of it is land and 0.2 km² (0.1 mi²) of it (1.14%) is water.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 72,878 people, 23,367 households, and 17,128 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,635.6/km² (11,999.5/mi²). There were 24,247 housing units at an average density of 1,542.3/km² (3,992.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 46.09% White, 13.09% Black or African American, 0.92% Native American, 9.69% Asian, 0.70% Pacific Islander, 24.38% from other races, and 5.13% from two or more races. 43.23% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 23,367 households out of which 43.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.0% were married couples living together, 19.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.7% were non-families. 21.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.09 and the average family size was 3.59.

In the city the population was spread out with 31.9% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 17.4% from 45 to 64, and 8.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 95.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $39,362, and the median income for a family was $42,822. Males had a median income of $32,658 versus $28,012 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,982. About 12.8% of families and 15.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.7% of those under age 18 and 10.0% of those age 65 or over.

Politics

In the state legislature Bellflower is located in the 27th Senate District, represented by Democrat Alan Lowenthal, and in the 50th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Hector De La Torre. Federally, Bellflower is located in California's 34th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +23 and is represented by Democrat Lucille Roybal-Allard.

Emergency and Other Public Services

Fire protection in Bellflower is provided by the Los Angeles County Fire Department from stations 23 and 98. Ambulance transport is provided by Care Ambulance Service. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department provides law enforcement from a substation in Bellflower and the regional station in Lakewood. The Clifton M Brakensiek Library is a branch of the County of Los Angeles Public Library.

Education

Most of Bellflower is within the Bellflower Unified School District. St. John Bosco High School , privately run, is also in Bellflower.

Famous natives and residents

External links

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