Chinese Lantern (Physalis alkekengi) - 50 Seeds
• USDA Zones: 3-9
The Chinese Lantern, with its distinctive bright orange papery husks, is a visually striking plant that has long been cultivated for both its ornamental and culinary qualities. As these lanterns dry, they reveal delicious edible red berries inside. Known as Strawberry Groundcherry or Winter Cherry, the berries have a unique tart flavor reminiscent of citrus, complementing both sweet desserts and savory dishes. Beyond its culinary uses, the Chinese Lantern's dramatic appearance makes it a popular choice for dried flower arrangements and festive decorations.
Stratification is not required, but a short 14 day cold stratification can improve germination rates. After stratification, soak seeds 24 hours (floating seeds are fine), then sow seeds 1/16" deep, tamp down the soil and keep moist. Once seedlings emerge, provide full sun. Harden off and transplant into garden in full sun and rich soil when there are at least 2 true leaves.