Chinese Lantern (Physalis alkekengi) Chinese lantern, Physalis alkekengi, grows to two feet tall and bears small, white flowers followed by large, balloon-like husks. Inside each 2-inch long husk is a small edible scarlet fruit. The Chinese lantern plant is valued for its inflated orange-red seed coverings which resemble miniature Chinese lanterns.For winter bouquets, cut the stems in fall just as the lanterns turn color, remove the leaves and hang them, right side up, to dry in a shady, airy place. Plants often self-sow in the garden. Set Chinese lantern plants from 2 to 3 feet apart as they tend to spread rapidly. They are a very strong perennial, hardy from zone 3-9. They prefer a sunny location with well-drained soil.
Publisher: Hirt's Gardens
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