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PHYSALIS alkekengi var. franchetii

Image of Physalis alkekengi var. franchetii

Family

Solanaceae

Botanical Name

PHYSALIS alkekengi var. franchetii

Plant Common Name

Chinese Lantern

General Description

Known for its papery, orange-red, lantern-like blooms, Chinese lantern is an interesting rhizomatous perennial that is native throughout Europe and Asia. The variety franchetii is unique in that it has rounder leaves and smaller flowers than the standard species. In summer, it produces large, lantern-like, calyces that are first green and mature to orange-red. These surround small, star-shaped flowers within, which are followed by inedible red berries that can be seen as the papery lanterns turn tan and become thin and lacy.

Chinese lantern grows best in full to partial sun and can tolerate a wide range of soils. Plants spread quickly and may become invasive. Chinese lanterns can be dried and used in flower arrangements.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m

  • Width

    1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall

  • Native To

    Europe, Asia, Japan

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Spreading

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    White, Orange Red

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Fruit Color

    Orange Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Dried Flower/Everlasting, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes