Commonly known as the blue balloon flower, Japanese snowdrop, Chinese snowdrop, Chinese bellflower, and Korean snowdrop, the Balloon Flower is a flowering perennial in the Campanulaceae family, including lobelia and wood hyacinth, and is the only member of the genus Platycodon.
Platycodon comprises around 2, 400 species of herbaceous plants in 24 genera. The plant is so-named because its buds swell like balloons before bursting and opening into outward-facing bell-shaped flowers with 5 pointed lobes.
The Balloon Flower originates from the grasslands and slopes of East Asia (East Siberia, Japan, China, and Korea). Still, it is now cultivated as an ornamental plant all over the world. These clump-forming plants rarely exceed 2.5 feet (0.8 meters) in height.
The swollen flower buds open into five-lobed, bell-shaped flowers. These white to lavender-blue flowers have a thick, rubbery texture and are 2 to 3 inches wide.