Q:

What is a Japanese lantern plant?

A:

Quick Answer

"Japanese lantern" is one of the common names of the Physalis alkekengi plant. Another common name for this plant is the "Chinese lantern." Like the potato, Physalis alkekengi is a member of the nightshade family.

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Full Answer

According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, the fruit of the plant is edible, but is tasteless and not typically used in culinary applications. The paper-like pods of the Japanese lantern skeletonize, creating a dramatic lantern-like appearance that lends to its name. SFGate recommends growing the plants in moist, well-drained soil in an area that gets full sunlight and removing the dried out pods from the plant and growing bed to prevent it from self-seeding.

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