Keeping in mind the fact that Physalis is often labelled as a plant with aggressive tendencies let us see the whole picture. And the view of a late fall garden where Chinese Lantern poses a threat to everything growing around is quite spectacular. Its hanging super-ornamental red papery husks are the only bright spots illuminating the flower beds at that time of year. Vicious plants do not behave like that, do they?
Chinese Lantern is almost invisible during the vegetative season. Light green leaves make a good background for other flowering plants. Its own flowers appear in early summer and resemble the flowers of red pepper, which suggests a very close family relationship. And the observation is right. The list of relatives is longer: tomatoes, potatoes, egg- plants, tomatillo (Physalis ixocarpa) and ground cherry (Physalis peruviana). The last two are grown for the sweet and tasty fruit eaten fresh, dried or preserved. Fortunately, they do not turn into invaders, as they have higher temperature requirements and are usually grown as annuals, and not the ornamental ones.
Chinese Lantern red calyxes look great in dry arrangements. Some people say, it is the best pace for the plant as it cannot escape from it. If so, its high time to raise them!