Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Pentagonal Purse

The Pentagonal Purse (I don't know what these are--do you--leave me a comment if you do). I love that bud.

Thank you to the anonymous commenter for the information on this kind of flower:

Balloon Flower

Platycodon grandiflorus (Plat - i - koh' - don) is a single species plant, but fortunately it is very variable.

Native range is primarily Japan and Northern China, Korea and Eastern Siberia. There it grows in grassy open places on hills and mountains. The weather they survive in those areas makes the plant adaptable to a cold hardiness of Zone 3; heat tolerant in all but the Gulf Coast and Southern Florida.

Soil conditions are usually rich with humus, well drained. The root systems are large and carrot-like, making them tolerant of dry conditions, but they perform best with adequate moisture.

Full sun is best for bloom, however light open shade is acceptable.

Stems are stiffly upright on Balloon Flowers. As foliage matures the plant takes on an overall vase shape. Buds and blooms develop, adding to the weight of the individual stems. When the first rains appear during bloom you can count on the stems falling over, so staking is required if floppy flowers are not desired.

Height is 24-30", so this is the way the plant places it's seeds away from the parent. Leaves are bluish-green or gray-green in color with sharp-toothed margins. Outline is generally ovate to a rounded lance shape about 3" in length. Leaves are arranged in whorls the base of the stem, becoming alternate as they ascend.

The plant received its name from the inflated buds. As they mature each bud swells until it resembles a paper lantern or balloon.

The balloons open into five pointed broadly shaped shallow bells, sometimes described as saucer shaped stars. Blooms resemble Campanulas to which they are related.

Petals, which can reach up to 3" across, are arranged solitary and terminal. Veins of a deeper color radiate outward from center to pointed tips, further enhancing color and form. Reminds me of landing guides for bees. Buds and blooms are long lasting both in the garden and as cut flowers for the table.

Balloon Flowers are important plants for the late season garden. They begin blooming in mid-July lasting through the month of August. Colors of white, pink and lavender are available with shades of blue being the most common. Blue is a color not frequently found in any season.

Cut flower fans will appreciate the long stout stems and large blooms. Be sure and sear the milky stems before placing in water. They are easy to grow and thrive during our most humid and hot weather. For more information.

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Anonymous said...

i think these are commonly referred to as balloon flowers.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Thank you!!! :-)