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Herbaceous Perennial

Physalis alkekengi var. franchetii dwarf

dwarf Chinese lantern

A vigorous, spreading, rhizomatous perennial to 30cm tall, with upright stems bearing broadly ovate leaves. Tiny, creamy-white, bell-shaped flowers are produced in summer; these are followed by inflated, papery orange 'lanterns' (calyces), which contain a small berry. The stems can be cut for use in floral arrangements

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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Cream White Green
Autumn Green Orange
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

East–facing or South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Solanaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Clump forming
Potentially harmful
Harmful if eaten, except ripe fruit. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling. Pets (dogs): Harmful if eaten, except ripe fruit - For further information and contact numbers regarding pets, see the HTA guide to potentially harmful plants
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

Name status

Correct

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in any well-drained soil in sun or partial shade. Has the potential to become a nuisance if not managed well

Propagation

Propagate by sowing seed in containers in a cold frame in spring. Divide in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Cut flowers
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

May be susceptible to caterpillar damage

Diseases

Generally disease-free

Get involved

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