Family: Solanaceae Juss.

Physalis alkekengi

Distribution: Native probably only in Southeastern Europe, now naturalized in many regions of Europe, Northern America and Central Asia. The plant was distributed by nomadic Gypsies.

Ecology: Grows on stream banks, in forest edges, in waste places and hedges.

Description: Perennial herb with an erect stem, 30–70 cm high. The leaves are ovate, funnel-shaped flowers grow singly in the upper leaf axils, corolla dirty-white, calyx is red or orange, flowers from June to August. The fruit is a red or orange berry.

Use: The Chinese Lantern is used in floral decoration, the fruits can be eaten in small quantities.

Note: The creeping rhizome is markedly invasive, it may be a quite heavy trouble in the gardens.

Physalis alkekengiPhysalis alkekengi
Physalis alkekengiPhysalis alkekengi

These images were taken in Czechia, Prague, Hostivař (August 13, 2007).