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botanical name:
Physalis alkekengi
Physalis alkekengi © Deeproot Plant Base
common name:  Chinese Lantern, Bladder Cherry
family:  Solanaceae
characteristics: perennial
height: 0.60m
width: 0.90m
growth rate: fast
growth habit: erect
leaf colour: green
flower colour: white
fruit colour: red
main season: Autumn
poison symbol poisonous or irritant
edible symbol edible
aspect: full sun, part shade, shade
conditions: dry soil, moist soil, clay soil, sandy soil
preferred soil pH: any
minimum temp: -20°C
USDA zone: 5 to 10
description:
Rapidly spreading rhizomatous perennial with ovate-triangular shaped leaves up to 12cm long. Small bell-shaped creamy-white flowers are produced at the leaf axils in midsummer and followed by large bright orange-red berries, enclosed in papery red calyces.

cultivation:
Any well drained soil in sun, full or part shade. May become invasive.

usage:
The "lanterns" are excellent for drying. The plant's invasive and coarse nature make it unsuitable for use in normal cultivated borders, but it may be valuable in hostile positions.

The ripe fruits are edible, although the rest of the plant, including the papery fruit calyces, is poisonous.

other notes:
Widely distributed in the wild, from central and southern Europe, through Asia to Japan.

RHS AGM

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