PLANT OF THE WEEK

Southport Visiter - - Nightlife -

THIS looks its best late sea­son when it’s fin­ished flow­er­ing.

Won­der­ful or­ange red pa­pery bracts sur­round the de­vel­op­ing seed giv­ing it the ap­pear­ance, and its com­mon name, of a Chi­nese lantern.

They re­main at­trac­tive even as the pa­pery lan­terns de­cay and be­come skeletonised.

Physalis is a favourite with flower ar­rangers who cut stems and hang them up­side down for dry­ing in­doors.

If you’d like to grow this herba­ceous peren­nial, I’d rec­om­mend do­ing so in a con­tainer as it’s very in­va­sive, be­ing happy in most soils in sun or par­tial shade. The fruit is toxic so one to avoid if you have pets or young chil­dren.

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