Chinese Lantern Plant, Strawberry Ground Cherry
Physalis alkekengi 'Gigantea'

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

Category:

Perennials

Height:

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Spacing:

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Hardiness:

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

Danger:

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Foliage:

Grown for foliage

Other details:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

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

Regional

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

,

Butler, Pennsylvania

New Galilee, Pennsylvania

East Port Orchard, Washington

Gardeners' Notes:

0
positives
1
neutral
2
negatives
RatingContent
Negative

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.

Negative

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

Neutral

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,
Cooch.