Balloon flowers in full bloom

Platycodon gradiflorus, commonly called Balloon flower is found in the Campanulaceae family.  Balloon flowers get their name from the shape of their unopened buds.Balloonflower1

This unopened flower bud looks a little bit like a balloon.  As the bud develops and the flower eventually opens, you’ll see five purple petals in a bell-shaped or campanulate flower shape.  You’ll also see an anther tube through which the style grows before spreading apart (plunger pollination).

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As the style elongates through the anther tube, it gets covered with pollen and the five light-colored anthers lay prostrate against the petals or corolla.

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Eventually, the style opens up into a five-branched stigma.

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