October Flower of the Month! BOTANICAL N

October Flower of the Month!
Physalis alkekengi
(FY-sa-lis al-ke-KEN-jee)
Chinese lantern, Japanese lantern,
Winter cherry, Bladder cherry
Chinese lanterns are notable for their pendulous,
bladderlike, orange calyxes—the
“lanterns.” The calyxes, which hang from
leafy, lightly haired main stems, have a
thin, paperlike texture and enclose redorange
(when ripe) berries.
Chinese lanterns are green at first, then
yellow and finally orange to red-orange as
they mature. (The color develops as the
berries inside the calyxes ripen.)
When given proper care, Chinese lanterns
can last for five to 10 days or longer as
fresh flowers, but because they dry beautifully
in a fresh-appearing state, consumers
often perceive them as lasting for months.
These distinctive botanicals are available
from July through December, but peak
production occurs in September, October
and November. Early crops usually have
green calyxes.


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