Physalis alkekengi

Chinese lantern

This old fashioned favourite forms a large spreading clump of upright stems which bear small, insignificant, white flowers in summer. 

It can be as rampant as mint so be warned. An escapee from a long abandoned garden has spread throughout Chernobyl. 

The main feature is the large 'lanterns' which ripen to a rich brilliant orange in early autumn and are prized for their decorative appeal. This calyx or papery cage protects the growing berries from pests and diseases. 

Most varieties of Physalis are prized for their edible fruits but this variety is very different, the fruits are sour and can be poisonous if consumed in quantity. 

Grow in any well drained soil in partial shade or full sun. Excellent in a large pot.

Photo: Blackstem Plants

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£ 6.00

Family

Plant type

Hardiness

Height

Spread

Foliage

Flower

Soil

Position

?

Solanaceae

Hardy perennial

H7

60cm 

45cm 

Mid green 

Creamy yellow, orange seedpods 

Well drained but moist 

Partial shade

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