Platycodon grandiflorus 'Mariesii' is a very floriferous, robust, long lived perennial that forms a compact mound of green foliage, bearing inflated buds that open into star-shaped single bright violet-blue blossoms with dark violet veins.
Native to Japan and China, it is a reliable bloomer that is long lived and rarely needs dividing. Great for the border and perfect as a cut flower.
Pretty and heavy flowering, Platycodon is an especially good choice for containers, rock gardens, the middle of the border or as a ground cover. Plants prefer highly organic, moist but well-drained soil. They enjoy a sunny position but can also take a little shade. Allow to ramble in sunny areas, encourage to twine through low shrubs or stake in the middle of the border to create arching sprays.
Plants can be cut back by half in late May to early June to promote bushiness if required. Remove faded blooms to encourage fresh buds to form. The plants benefit from watering during dry spells.
Avoid moving plant around, its roots do best when left undisturbed. Remove dead stems after leaves drop in autumn and cut back to 15cm (6in).
- Awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit
Platycodon grandiflorus 'Mariesii' has been awarded the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
Sowing: Sow indoors in late winter to late spring or in late summer to autumn
Sow the seed thinly on the surface of lightly firmed, moist seed compost in pots, cells or trays. Just cover with a light sprinkling of compost or vermiculite. Keep at a temperature of between 18 to 22°C (65 to 70°F)
Keep the compost moist but not waterlogged; water from beneath the tray. Sealing the container inside a polythene bag after sowing is beneficial, keeping the compost suitable moist.
Germination is rapid, between 14 to 21 days. When large enough to handle, usually 4 to 6 weeks after germination, transplant seedlings into 7.5cm (3in) pots. At transplanting stage, the plant can be cut back, to encourage a more compact, bushy plant
Gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10 to 15 days before planting out after all risk of frost, 38cm (15in) apart. For best results, provide any ordinary, well-drained soil in full sun.
Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower Borders and Beds, Low Maintenance. Cut flower
If you want a long lasting cut flower, sear the cut end of the stem with a flame before placing in water.
Platycodon grandiflorus, the sole species in the genus Platycodon and is native to East Asia.
In China, this flower is used in traditional medicinal preparations and has a history of herbal use in China going back over 2000 years.
It is a herbaceous perennial in the family Campanulaceae.
The scientific name Platycodon comes from the Greek words ‘platys’, which is a prefix signifying flat, broad or wide, and ‘kodon’, meaning a bell, in reference to the shape of the corolla.
The species name grandiflorus simply means ‘large flowered’
Known as the Chinese bellflower or the Japanese bellflower, depending upon the region. It is also referred to as the common balloon flower due to its balloon-like buds that burst open into large blossoms.
When fully opened, the flower closely resembles a star. It has a simple, but pretty blossom with five pointed petals that surround a star-like pistil.
In Japan, the Balloon Flower, which is called ‘kikyo’, is a very popular plant. Kikyo, meaning ‘pentagram’, is an important symbol in Taoism because each of the five petals represents the five elements of the Tao – wood, water, fire, metal and earth.
Kikyo is considered one of Japan’s “Seven Flowers of Autumn”, the others being Lespedeza thunbergii or Bush Clover (hagi), Miscanthus sinensis or Japanese Silver Grass (susuki), Pueraria Lobata or Japanese arrowroot (kuzu), Dianthus superbus (nadeshiko), Patrinia scabiosifolia or Golden Lace Flower (ominaeshi) and Eupatorium fortunei or Thoroughwort (fujibakama).
The Seven Flowers of Autumn have always been a popular topic in haiku and other Japanese literature.
In the Heian Period (794 -1185), these flowers were common in the gardens of the aristocracy.
- Awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit
- Additional Information
Packet Size 100mg Average Seed Count 120 Seeds Family Campanulaceae Genus Platycodon Species grandiflorus Cultivar Mariesii Common Name Kikyo, Balloon Flower Other Common Names Chinese Bellflower, Japanese Bellflower Other Language Names Fr: Campanule à grandes fleuresle platycodon Hardiness Hardy Perennial Flowers Violet Blue Natural Flower Time Mid-Summer to Late Summer Height 60 to 90cm (24 to 36in) Spread 30 to 40cm (12 to 16in) Position Full sun to light shade Soil Prefers well drained / light