Japanese Lantern (Physalis alkekengi franchetii), packet of 50 seeds, organic


Family: Nightshade (Solanacea)

Hardy to Zones 4 to 11

(Winter Cherry, Chinese Lantern) Creeping herbaceous perennial native to China, with insignificant flowers that nonetheless transform into plump, round, cherry-tomato-like fruits enclosed in a bright orange, papery, lantern-shaped calyx.  Traditional usage: homeopathic extracts, cooling poultice.  Do not ingest– source of potent steroidal saponins.  The plant prefers moist soil in the part sun to shade, and tends to be overrun by other larger plants, so it can be draped over a wall to give it space, and it is very decorative growing on a wall, in rock garden, or as a potted plant that drapes and sprawls.  Sow seed in spring, directly in a prepared seedbed or work up in pots, just like growing tomatoes.
50 seeds/pkt., Certified Organically Grown

In stock

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  1. 3 out of 3 people found this helpful
    Richo Cech

    Admin Richo Cech

    One of my fondest memories of childhood involves playing with these. They grew in a secret garden that I entered without permission. There was a small pond, curbed in cement, and in the pond were goldfish, which came to the surface, having been trained, I surmised, that the shadow of a human form there in the universe above meant–food. All around grew the Chinese Lanterns. I would open the inflated calyx and remove the fruit, smash it in my fingers to reveal the pulp and the seeds, all the while listening to make sure the owner would not find me there. I was filled with the exhilaration of trespass, and employed as always with the examination of the plant world. I had no idea other children were less engaged until I shared this spot with a friend, and his nonchalance shocked me. Later, with land of my own, I made a pond with cement edges, filled it with goldfish, and grew Chinese lanterns all about–an orgasm of nostalgia.

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