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Platycodon grandiflorum2.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Campanulaceae
Subfamily: Campanuloideae
Genus: Platycodon
Species: P. grandiflorus
Binomial name
Platycodon grandiflorus
(Jacq.) A.DC.

Campanula gentianoides Lam.
Campanula glauca Thunb.
Campanula grandiflora Jacq.
Platycodon autumnalis Decne.
Platycodon chinensis Lindl. & Paxton
Platycodon glaucus (Thunb.) Nakai
Platycodon mariesii (Lynch) Wittm.
Platycodon sinensis Lem.

Platycodon grandiflorus (from Ancient Greek πλατύς "wide" and κώδων "bell") is a species of herbaceous flowering perennial plant of the family Campanulaceae, and the only member of the genus Platycodon. It is native to East Asia (China, Korea, Japan, and the Russian Far East).[1] It is commonly known as balloon flower[2][3] (referring to the balloon-shaped flower buds), Chinese bellflower,[2] or platycodon.[2]


Growing to 60 cm (24 in) tall by 30 cm (12 in) wide, it is an herbaceous perennial with dark green leaves and blue flowers in late summer. A notable feature of the plant is the flower bud which swells like a balloon before fully opening.[4] The five petals are fused together into a bell shape at the base, like its relatives, the campanulas. There are varieties with white, pink and purple blooms in cultivation.[5] In Korea, white flowers are more common. This plant[6] together with its cultivars 'Apoyama group'[7] and 'Mariesii'[8] have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.





In Korea, the plant as well as its root is referred to as doraji (도라지). The root, fresh or dried, is one of the most common namul vegetables. It is also one of the most frequent ingredients in bibimbap. In Korean cuisine, the preparation of doraji always involve soaking and washing, which gets rid of the bitter taste of it. To wash doraji, one may rub it with coarse sea salt, and rinse it multiple times.


  • dorajicheong – doraji honey, made by boiling peeled, soaked, washed, and ground doraji and honey together. It can also be made with pear and doraji, in which case the name becomes baedorajicheong (literally "pear doraji honey").


  • dorajibap – a type of bap (cooked rice), made by cooking rice with peeled, sliced, soaked, and washed doraji
  • dorajimuchim – a type of namul, made by julienning and seasoning peeled, soaked, and washed doraji with minced garlic, chopped scallions, gochujang (chilli paste), gochutgaru (chilli powder), maesilcheong (plum syrup), vinegar, sesame oil, and toasted sesame seeds
  • dorajinamul – a type of namul, made by julienning and seasoning peeled, soaked, and washed doraji with minced garlic, ground ginger, salt, rice wine, and sugar, then frying it in sesame oil, before pouring anchovy broth and reducing it. The dish is served with toasted sesame seeds sprinkled on top.


Doraji-cha (balloon flower root tea)
  • dorajicha – doraji tea, made by mixing hot water with dorajicheong
  • dorajisul – doraji liquor, made by soaking peeled and washed doraji in distilled soju or other hard alcohol that has an ABV higher than 30%, for at least six months


The Chinese bellflower (called 桔梗 in Chinese) is also used in traditional Chinese medicine.

The extracts and purified platycoside compounds (saponins) from the roots of Platycodon grandiflorum may exhibit neuroprotective, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-allergy, improved insulin resistance, and cholesterol-lowering properties.[9] Evidence for these potential effects was mainly observed in vitro, with the exception of cholesterol lowering effects documented in vitro and in rats. The lack of efficacy and limited safety data in humans however, necessitates further research.

In Korea, the roots are commonly used for treating bronchitis, asthma, tuberculosis, diabetes, and other inflammatory diseases.[citation needed] In China, they are used as a cough suppressant and expectorant for common colds, cough, sore throat, tonsillitis, and chest congestion.[9]



The bellflower is called kikyō (桔梗) in Japanese. Traditionally, it is one of the Seven Autumn Flowers. In addition, the "Bellflower Seal" (桔梗紋, kikyōmon) is the crest (kamon) of some clans.


Doraji taryeong (Korean: 도라지타령) is one of the most popular folk songs in both North and South Korea, and in China among the ethnic Koreans. It is also a well known song in Japan, by the name Toraji (Japanese: トラジ).[10]

It is a folk song originated from Eunyul in Hwanghae Province. However, the currently sung version is classified as Gyeonggi minyo (Gyeonggi Province folk song), as the rhythm and the melody have changed to acquire the characteristics of it.[11]


  1. ^ "Platycodon grandiflorus". Flora of China. Missouri Botanical Garden – via 
  2. ^ a b c "Taxon: Platycodon grandiflorus (Jacq.) A. DC". GRIN. National Plant Germplasm System. 18 April 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2017. 
  3. ^ English Names for Korean Native Plants (PDF). Pocheon: Korea National Arboretum. 2015. p. 578. ISBN 978-89-97450-98-5. Retrieved 6 January 2017 – via Korea Forest Service. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964. 
  6. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Platycodon grandiflorus". Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  7. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Platycodon grandiflorus 'Apoyama group'". Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  8. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Platycodon grandiflorus 'Mariesii'". Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Nyakudya E.; Jeong JH.; Lee NK.; Jeong YS. (2014) “Platycosides from the Roots of Platycodon grandiflorum and Their Health Benefits.” Preventative Nutrition and Food Science 19 (2): 59-68. PMID 25054103.
  10. ^ Atkins, E. Taylor (2010). Primitive Selves: Koreana in the Japanese Colonial Gaze, 1910‒1945. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. pp. 163–164. ISBN 9780520266742. well-known Korean folk melody, "Toraji T'aryŏng" (known simply as "Toraji" in Japanese) 
  11. ^ Han, Manyǒng. "도라지타령" [Doraji taryeong]. Encyclopedia of Korean Culture (in Korean). Academy of Korean Studies. Retrieved 7 January 2017. 

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