Chinese Lantern Plant

Chinese Lantern Plant

Chinese Lantern PlantChinese Lantern Plant — Physalis alkekengi (Bladder-cherry, Chinese Lantern, Japanese-lantern, or Winter cherry; Japanese: hōzuki), is a relative of P. peruviana (Cape Gooseberry), easily identifiable by the larger, bright orange to red papery covering over its fruit, which resemble Chinese lanterns. It is native from southern Europe east across southern Asia to Japan.

It is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 40-60 cm tall, with spirally arranged leaves 6-12 cm long and 4-9 cm broad. The flowers are white, with a five-lobed corolla 10-15 mm across, with an inflated basal calyx which matures into the papery orange fruit covering, 4-5 cm long and broad.

It is a popular ornamental plant, though can be invasive with its wide-spreading root system sending up new shoots some distance from where it was originally planted.

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