Hard to believe how time has flown, but the16th DG annual photo contest has begun! Find the details here. Best wishes to all the entrants!!!

Chinese Lantern Plant, Strawberry Ground Cherry 'Gigantea'

Physalis alkekengi

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Physalis (fy-SAL-is) (Info)
Species: alkekengi (al-KEK-en-jee) (Info)
Cultivar: Gigantea
Synonym:Physalis alkekengi var. franchetii
Synonym:Physalis franchetii
Synonym:Physalis gigantea



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 2a: to -45.5 C (-50 F)

USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer


Grown for foliage

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds

Ferment seeds before storing

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:


Butler, Pennsylvania

New Galilee, Pennsylvania

East Port Orchard, Washington

Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 3, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This is a garden thug here in Boston MA Z6a. It spreads aggressively by a deep rhizome I've never been able to dig out. It can also self-sow. It's always popping up where I least want it, generally in the middle of a perennial I care about.

The leaves are always tattered and full of holes---something is always eating it, though I don't know if it's an insect or slug.

This isn't considered an invasive threat to natural habitat anywhere I know of, but it's not what I'd consider an attractive or neighborly garden plant.

It can be eradicated by repeated treatment with 2% glyphosate.


On Feb 16, 2011, luciee from Hanceville, AL (Zone 7a) wrote:

We have something growing here which looks like a Chinese Lantern and is called hog tomato. It grows in a husk and turns red or orange when ripe. It is probably in the same family. It looks like a small tomatillo. It comes up in our garden in the summer and is considered a weed. It is probably in the same family. Luciee


On Feb 15, 2011, CoochClark from Gold Coast,
Australia wrote:

Gday Folks, My name is Cooch & I live in Queensland in Australia. My queries about Physalis alkekengi are it's native origins, it's habitat, it's flowering, seeding & fruit descriptions, it's method of dispersal, it's preferred environment, it's management & control measures & any other info.
I'm currently studying Conservation & Land Management on the Gold Coast in Queensland Australia. Any & all comments will be welcomed & highly appreciated.
Thanx & cheers,