Write down the type of plant on which you see the purple, bell-shaped flower. Morning glory, for instance, blossoms on vines, while Spanish bluebell is a bulb that grows on top of stems that reach as high as 18 inches tall.
Look at the petals of the flower to see if they display additional colors. Some flowers, including the purple false foxglove, bear pink shades along with their purple tone and have dark spots on the inner petals.
Record the state where you find the purple flower. For instance, wild Canterbury bells are found in California and Massachusetts.
Mark down the months that you see the purple flowers. The columbine, for example, blossoms during April and May, while the Wilkins' bellflower shows up in July, August and September.
Photograph your purple, bell-shaped flower.
Take the photograph and your findings to a garden center or nursery to receive help with identifying the plant. You also can use the photograph to help identify the flowering plant in flower guidebooks and online flower guides.