Balloon Flower1


Clump forming medicinal herbaceous perennial related to the bellflowers.

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Clump forming medicinal herbaceous perennial related to the bellflowers.

  • Botanical Name: Platycodon grandiflorus
  • Plant Family: Campanulaceae (Bellflower)
  • Synonyms: Chinese Bellflower
  • Form: Herb
  • Lifecycle: Herbaceous Perennial
  • Use 1. Culinary: In Korea the whole plant is used, but in particular the root (known as doraji), which is soaked, rubbed with salt, then washed to get rid of the bitterness, and used fresh or dried. It is used as a vegetable or made into as dessert.
  • Use 2. Medicinal: In China, Japan and Korea the plant has a long history of medicinal use. It is said to lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels in the liver and inhibit the release of histamine. It is used internally in the treatment of coughs with profuse phlegm, colds, bronchitis, pleurisy, pulmonary abscesses and throat infections. It is also used to treat hypertension and diabetes in Korea. The root of plants 2 – 3 years old are harvested in the spring or autumn, peeled and used fresh or dried.
  • Use 3. Tea: A syrup from the root can be used to make a tea.
  • Use 4. Brewing: The root is used to infuse alcohol, to make a drink known in Korean as doraji-sul.
  • Growing Conditions: Prefers well drained but moist soil in full sun or part shade.
  • Height: 40cm when in flower
  • Hardiness: Hardy to -15
  • Flowering time:  The purple flower buds form a puffy balloon and then open to a bell shaped flower in mid-summer.
  • Pollination: Bees
  • Biodiversity value: Attracts bees
  • Native to: Eastern Asia
  • Food Forest Fit: Clumping herb for the herbaceous layer in a sunny edge.
  • Fun Fact: The bellflower is the symbol of some Japanese clans.
  • Pot size: 9cm