Sunday, January 23, 2011

Balloon Flower

Platycodon

Platycodon grandiflorum
A vigorous, long lived ( 20 + years ), deciduous clump forming perennial native to eastern Asia ( eastern Siberia; south to northern China, Korea and Japan ), that can reach a maximum size of 4 x 5 feet. The foliage is often late to appear during spring and it is recommended to mix with bulbs such as Crocuses for more of an all season effect. Balloon Flowers are deep rooted enabling them to tolerate the occasional drought.
The toothed oval leaves, up to 3.2 x 1.6 inches in size, are glossy mid green.
The clustered balloon-like buds open to bright blue, saucer-shaped flowers, up to 3.2 inches across, from early summer to early autumn.
Hardy zones 2 to 8 in full sun to partial shade on most soils as long as it is fertile and well drained. It does not like root disturbance and only very old plants should be divided. Once established, the Balloon Flower is very easy to grow. Cutting non-dwarf plants back by half during very early summer will result in compact, very full plants that are about 1.5 feet shorter at bloom time.

* photo taken on 4th of July 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photo taken on August 3 2010 @ University of Guelph Arboretum, Ontario

* photo taken on Oct 27 2013 in Columbia, MD

* historic archive photo


'Albus'
Forms a clump reaching a maximum size of 4 x 5 feet with large white flowers, up to 3.5 inches across early to late summer.

* photos taken on Oct 3 2012 in Columbia, MD

* historic archive photo

* historical archive photo


'Astra Blue'
A dwarf form, only reaching a maximum size of 22 inches x 2 feet ( usually under 1.5 feet ) with deep blue flowers, up to 3.5 inches across, early to late summer.
Mix with Crocus and Muscari for edging or at the front of a border.

* photo taken on June 20 2012 in Columbia, MD


'Astra Blue Double'
A dwarf form, only reaching a maximum size of 22 inches x 2 feet ( usually under 1.5 feet ) with double, deep blue flowers, up to 3.5 inches across, early to late summer.
Mix with Crocus and Muscari for edging or at the front of a border.

* photo taken on June 22 2013 in Columbia, MD


'Astra Pink'
A dwarf form, only reaching a maximum size of 22 inches x 2 feet ( usually under 1.5 feet ) with pale pink, bell shaped flowers, up to 3.5 inches across, early to late summer. Mix with Crocus and Muscari for edging or at the front of a border.

* photo taken on July 15 2013 in Harford Co., MD

* photo taken on June 18 2013 in Columbia, MD


'Blaue Glocke'
Reaches up to 3.3 feet in height with blue flowers.

'Fairy Snow'
A low growing form, reaching a maximum size of 22 inches x 2 feet, with large flowers that are white with blue veins.

'Fuji Blue'
Reaches a maximum size of 40 x 32 inches ( usually under 3 feet ). The sturdy stems bear deep blue flowers, up to 3 inches across, mid to late summer.

* photo taken on Aug 12 2011 in Howard Co., MD

* photos taken on June 29 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on June 10 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photos taken on July 9 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on July 1 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Oct 27 2015 in Columbia, MD


'Fuji Pink'
Reaches a maximum size of 3 x 3 feet ( usually under 2 feet ) with pink flowers, up to 3 inches across, early to late summer.

'Fuji White'
Reaches a maximum size of 40 x 32 inches ( usually under 3 feet ) with pure white flowers, up to 3 inches across, early to late summer.

* photo taken on Aug 12 2011 in Howard Co., MD

* photo taken on Sep 8 in Harford Co., MD


'Hakone Blue'
Reaches a maximum size of 43 x 34 inches, with double flowers, up to 3 inches across, that are blue with some white veining.
The foliage turns to deep purple during autumn.

* photo taken on May 4 2017 in Columbia, MD


'Hime Musasaki'
Reaches up to 1.5 feet with large, bluish-violet flowers

'Mariesii'
Reaches up to 2.5 feet with deep blue flowers early to late summer.

* photo taken on Oct 19 2015 in Howard Co., MD

* photo taken on July 5 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on July 24 2016 in Howard Co., MD

* photo taken on Aug 17 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Aug 19 2016 in Howard Co., MD


'Misato Purple'
Reaches up to 2 x 2+ feet in size, with large, deep purple flowers, up to 3.5 inches across, borne early to late summer.

'Plenum'
Semi-double light blue flowers.

'Sentimental Blue'
A vigorous but very compact, dwarf form, only reaching up to 1 foot in height but spreading up to 1 foot in just one season.
It bears large, soft blue flowers, up to 3 inches wide, during early summer to early autumn.

* photo taken on June 8 2012 in Columbia, MD
* photo taken on Sep 5 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on July 9 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Aug 1 2013 in Stratford, Ontario

* photo taken on June 2015 in Harford Co., MD

* photos taken on Oct 11 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on July 25 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Aug 1 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Oct 2 2016 in Harford Co., MD


'Shell Pink'
Reaches up to 2 feet with pink flowers, up to 3.5 inches across, borne mid to late summer.

* photo taken on July 1 2011 in Columbia, MD


'Snowflakes'
Semi-double white flowers.

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