balloon flower

An amazing purple-blue flower that blooms throughout summer! You can find them hiding throughout the north side of the dark plate.

Platycodon grandiflorus is a unique clump-forming perennial that is called balloon flower because its flower buds puff up like balloons before bursting open into outward-to-upward-facing, bell-shaped flowers with five-point lobes. 

It is native to slopes and meadows in China, Korea, Japan, and Siberia. This plant is grown easily from seed. Division and transplanting may be tricky because of the fragile, fleshy root system of these plants, and it is possibly bet to leave plant undisturbed once established. Deadheading flowers can prolong the bloom period.

In Korea, the plant as well as its root are referred as doraji, which is one of the frequent ingredients of bibimbap. Sometimes rice is cooked with balloon flower root to make doraji-bap. Preparation of the root always involves soaking and washing (usually rubbing it with coarse sea salt and rinsing it multiple times), which gets rid of the bitter taste.

Botanical Name Platycodon grandiflorus
Common Name balloon flower
Family Campanulaceae
USDA Zone 3 thru 8
Light Requirement Full Sun to Part Shade
Season(s) of interest summer, fall, winter
Height and Spread 1-2.5ft x 1.5ft (30-75cm x 45cm)
Flower Color Purple-Blue
Attracts Wildlife Attracts Pollinators,
Additional Information Not Native to the US Midwest. Native to Asia
Location in Lurie Garden North Dark Plate

 

Average Flowering Time