August 17, 2017

Up Into the Blue

Platycodon grandiflorus 'Miss Tilly Blue' - Balloon flower

Janine Pineo Photo | Platycodon grandiflorus ‘Miss Tilly Blue’ – Balloon flower

Balloon flowers are a charming addition to any garden, and the dwarf Platycodon grandiflorus ‘Miss Tilly Blue’ is no exception. Much shorter than its relatives, this diminutive variety grows about a foot tall and features the balloon-like buds that give the plant its common name. The regular-sized balloon flowers can reach between 2 and 3 feet in height, is somewhat shade tolerant and can blossoms for several weeks in midsummer in Maine. In Asian cultures, balloon flower is used both medicinally (the root is used as an anti-inflammatory) and in cuisine (the plant and root). This variety pictured was photographed last summer at Rogers Farm in Stillwater.