Physalis Alkekengi, Chinese Lantern Seed, Winter Cherry Jin Denglong
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Physalis Alkekengi < 锦灯笼 Jin Deng Long >
Common Name: Bladder Cherry, Chinese Lantern, Japanese-lantern, Strawberry Groundcherry, Winter Cherry
Binomial name: Physalis Alkekengi
Physalis alkekengi (bladder cherry, Chinese lantern, Japanese-lantern, strawberry groundcherry, or winter cherry;) is a relative of P. peruviana (Cape gooseberry). It is easily identifiable by the large, bright orange to red papery covering over its fruit, which resembles paper lanterns. It grows naturally in the regions covering Southern Europe to South Asia and Northeast Asia. It is a perennial herbaceous plant growing to 40–60 cm tall, with spirally arranged leaves 6–12 cm long and 4–9 cm broad. The flowers are white, with a five-lobed corolla 10–15 mm across, with an inflated basal calyx which matures into the papery orange fruit covering, 4–5 cm long and broad. It is a popular ornamental plant, widely cultivated in temperate regions of the world, and very hardy to below −20 °C (−4 °F). It can be invasive with its wide-spreading root system sending up new shoots some distance from where it was originally planted. In various places around the world, it has escaped from cultivation. In the United Kingdom it has been given the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.
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