06-08 | Balloon Flowers - Ronda Birtha Photography | In the Country. In the City. In the Kitchen. In Your Face.

06-08 | Balloon Flowers

Platycodon grandiflorus

"Balloon Flowers" sound so much cuter.

(See Creative License version of Ballon Flowers)

From what I understand the Platycodon Grandiflorus is a native of China, that, according to different sources, has medicinal qualities. The site, www.chineseherbshealing.com has good, easy-to-read information on what some of those benefits are. The balloon flower is also known for its edible qualities - different parts of it being used in salads, to make teas, as well as desserts. I’ll take everyone’s word for this. Right now, I’ll just admire it’s cuteness.

During its budding stage, the structure swells up like an inflating balloon, in so doing, each leaf that will form, first develops a curious little spoke. The little spokes that protrude when it’s still young, dimples as it matures. As it’s maturing, the petals join to form a shy pucker.

When it opens up, its petals extend outward, making the balloon flower look more like a star and less like its namesake.

As the petals age and fold backwards, they show off the inner workings of the flower - all the parts we learned about in biology: terms like anthers, stigmas, styles, pollen. Anyway ... look at how cute.

As these parts pull away, they look (to me, anyway) like a little man with a freakish “outie” belly button, just ‘chillin’ with his arms outstretched in a little bean bag chair or doing some calisthenics - depending on your viewing angle.

And as it nears its end of life, the running man extends himself for one final stretch to his finish.

Check out the Balloon Flower Gallery that accompanies this post.

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