A botanical lesson first. Platycodon is a monotypic genus which means there is only one species in the genus. However it can come in various forms or cultivars including white and various shades of blue flowers and occasionally double flowers. There are a few cultivars that grow to different heights including dwarf ones.
It gets its common name from the shape of the unopened flower buds that look like inflated balloons. When open the flowers measure up to 7.5cm across and have beautifully and prominently veined flowers.
It is a native of all the islands of
and Japan , Korea Northern China and Eastern Siberia growing on grassy slopes in hills and mountains. It is very hardy for all conditions. New Zealand
In the garden they are very hardy but resent wet feet. The large fleshy rootstock enables it to survive in dryer conditions. One advantage is that the rootstock increases in size slowly which means it does not need high levels of maintenance like some other perennials. In the garden it can produce seeds and a few will germinate to slowly increase plant numbers.
‘Snowflake’ a white semi double flower.
‘Mother of Pearl’ light pink
‘Apoyama’ deep blue