• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Physalis alkekengi

Chinese lantern

AGM plants

AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

  • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
  • Available to buy
  • Of good constitution
  • Essentially stable in form & colour
  • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases
Chinese lantern

© RHS

  • Other common names Chinese lantern
    alkegengi

    bladder cherry
    bladder herb
    Chinese lantern plant
    devil's berry
    devil's bladder
    Japanese lantern
    red nightshade
    red winter cherry
    strawberry tomato
    strawberry-and-tomato
    winter cherry

    see more
  • Family Solanaceae

  • Genus Physalis can be annuals or rhizomatous perennials with simple or pinnately lobed leaves and small bell-shaped flowers in the leaf axils, followed by fleshy, sometimes edible, yellow, red or purple berries, enclosed in enlarged, often colourful, calyces

  • Details P. alkekengi is a vigorous herbaceous perennial to 60cm tall, with ovate leaves and nodding creamy-yellow bell-shaped flowers 2cm wide, followed by inflated, lantern-like deep orange calyces 5cm long enclosing red berries

  • Plant range Europe Asia

Characteristics

  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Bushy

  • Toxicity May cause digestive upset if ingested

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)

    H7

Colour

Sunlight

  • Full Sun

  • Partial Shade

  • Aspect South-facing or West-facing or East-facing

  • Exposure Exposed or Sheltered

Soil

  • Sand

    Sand

  • Chalk

    Chalk

  • Loam

    Loam

  • MoistureWell-drained

  • SoilSand, Chalk, Loam

  • pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral

Size

  • Ultimate height 0.5-1 metres

  • Ultimate spread 0.5-1 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 2-5 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow in any well-drained soil in full sun or part shade. Best grown in containers as although suitable for the border it may become invasive

Propagation Propagate in containers in a cold frame in spring; propagate by division in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types Flower borders and beds City & Courtyard Gardens Coastal Cottage & Informal Garden

How to care

Pruning Ideal for flower arranging; cut stems for drying as the calyces begin to colour

Pests Caterpillars may be a problem

Diseases Generally disease free

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