Chinese lantern

Physalis alkekengi var. franchetii

Chinese lantern - Physalis alkekengi  var. franchetii

Common Name: Chinese lantern
Genus: Physalis
Species: alkekengi
Cultivar: var. franchetii

Category: Perennials
Growth Rate: Fast growing
Features: Suitable for ground cover, Makes good cut flowers, Has interesting/colourful ornamental fruit

Hardiness: HardyHeight: 0.75 m (75 cm)
Sun/Shade: Full sun or Partial shadeSpread: 0.90 m (90 cm)

Foliage Type: DeciduousFlower Colour: Cream, White
Foliage Colour: GreenFlowering Period: July & August

Soil Type: Normal/Loam or Sandy/Light or Chalky/Alkaline
Soil Moisture: Dry, well drained or Moist, but well drained

  • Other features: all parts of the plant may cause a mild stomach upset if ingested; the papery lanterns make wonderful dried flower arrangements; triangular or diamond-shaped mid-green leaves


Tiny creamy-white flowers from July to August followed by bright orange-scarlet berries enclosed by papery red lanterns. Chinese lanterns are perfect for providing autumn interest in well-drained areas of the garden. To prevent them from becoming invasive try cutting a slit trench around the crown of the plant with a spade each autumn.

  • Garden care: To check the spread of underground stems cut the area round the crown of the plant with a spade each autumn. Lift and divide congested colonies in spring.