Physalis alkekengi 'var. franchetii'

Chinese lantern

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Key information

Plant type

Hardy perennial

Flower colour



Attractive seed-heads, Fruit



Skill level


photo by Michael Howes, copyright GAP Photos (294880)

Plant details

This forms a large spreading clump of fairly upright stems which bear small, insignificant, white flowers in summer. However, the main feature is the 5cm (2in) long lanterns, actually the papery husk covering a berry inside, which ripen to a rich brilliant orange in early autumn. This looks good grown with other autumn perennials, but should be confined in a large buried container, as with mint, or placed a little apart where it can be kept in check. It is useful for cutting and drying for winter decoration.

Family: Solanaceae

Genus: Physalis

Species: alkekengi

Cultivar: var. franchetii

Plant type: Hardy perennial

Flower colour: White

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Feature: Attractive seed-heads, Fruit

Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade

Soil: Well-drained/light

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 75cm

Spread: 90cm

Time to divide plants: March to May

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