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Physalis alkekengi franchetii - Makino.

Common Name Winter Cherry
Family Solanaceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards All parts of the plant, except the ripe fruit, are poisonous[19, 65, 238].
Habitats Cultivated ground and vineyards[147].
Range Asia - Caucasus to China. Occasionally naturalized in Britain.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Physalis alkekengi franchetii Winter Cherry


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Dalgial
Physalis alkekengi franchetii Winter Cherry

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Physalis alkekengi franchetii is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in July. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

P. latifolia.

Habitats

 Ground Cover;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Leaves
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked[1, 2, 4, 7, 105]. The plant conveniently wraps up each fruit in its own 'paper bag' (botanically, the calyx) to protect it from pests and the elements. This calyx is toxic and should not be eaten[34, 65]. Rich in vitamins[100], with twice the vitamin C of lemons[179], but not much taste[178]. We have found them to be bitter and rather unpleasant[K]. Young leaves - cooked[105, 170, 179]. Caution is advised, the leaves are almost certainly poisonous, at least when raw.

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Aperient  Diuretic  Expectorant  Febrifuge

The plant has a long history of herbal use, and an interesting chemistry, but it is seldom used in modern practice[238]. The whole plant is antiphlogistic, antipyretic, antitussive and expectorant[9, 61, 147, 178, 218]. An overdose of the plant is said to easily precipitate an abortion[218]. The fruit is aperient, strongly diuretic and lithontripic[4, 7, 9, 218]. It is used internally in the treatment of gravel, suppression of urine etc and is highly recommended in fevers and in gout[4, 238]. The fruit is harvested when fully ripe and can be used fresh, juiced or dried[238]. The calyx should be removed[238]. The leaves and stems are febrifuge and slightly tonic[4]. They are used in the treatment of the malaise that follows malaria, and for weak or anaemic people[4]. The fresh leaves have been used externally in the treatment of skin inflammations[238]. The seed is used to promote early labour[218]. A homeopathic remedy is made from the fruit. It is used in the treatment of kidney and bladder disorders[9].

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Other Uses

Plants spread rapidly by their roots and can be grown as a ground cover[208]. They are best spaced about 1 metre apart each way[208].

Special Uses

Ground cover

Cultivation details

Succeeds in any well-drained soil in full sun or light shade[111, 200]. The fully dormant plant is hardy in most of Britain, though the young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. A very ornamental plant[1] though it can be invasive[200]. This sub-species, which is sometimes treated as a separate species, is a more vigorous form of P. alkekengi with larger fruits[200]. Slugs are very fond of the new growth in spring and can destroy even quite large clumps[K].

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Propagation

Seed - sow March/April in a greenhouse only just covering the seed. Germination usually takes place quickly and freely. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots of fairly rich soil when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in early summer. Diurnal temperature fluctuations assist germination[170]. Division in spring[111]. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer. Basal cuttings in early summer[111]. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 - 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Physalis acutifoliaSharp-Leaf Ground CherryAnnual0.0 0-0  LMHSNM200
Physalis alkekengiWinter Cherry, Strawberry groundcherry,Ground Cherry, Chinese LanternPerennial0.3 6-9 FLMHSNM22 
Physalis angulataCutleaf Ground CherryAnnual0.8 0-0  LMHSNM310
Physalis angustifoliaCoastal groundcherryPerennial0.0 0-0  LMHNM20 
Physalis arenicolaCypresshead groundcherryPerennial0.0 0-0  LMHNM20 
Physalis carpenteriCarpenter's groundcherryAnnual0.0 0-0  LMHNM20 
Physalis caudellaSouthwestern groundcherryPerennial0.0 0-0  LMHNM20 
Physalis crassifoliaYellow nightshade groundcherryPerennial0.3 0-0  LMHNDM20 
Physalis foetens Annual0.6 -  LMHNM20 
Physalis foetens neomexicana Annual0.6 -  LMHNDM20 
Physalis greenei Annual0.3 -  LMHNDM20 
Physalis hederaefolia cordifoliaGround CherryPerennial0.3 -  LMHSNDM20 
Physalis heterophyllaClammy Ground Cherry, Rowell's groundcherryPerennial0.9 7-10  LMHSNDM310
Physalis ixocarpaTomatilloAnnual1.2 7-10  LMHSNDM40 
Physalis lanceolataGround Cherry, Sword groundcherryPerennial0.4 0-0  LMHSNDM21 
Physalis latiphysaBroadleaf groundcherry 0.0 0-0  LMHNM20 
Physalis macrophysaBladder Ground Cherry, Longleaf groundcherryPerennial1.5 0-0  LMHNM20 
Physalis minimaSunberry, Pygmy groundcherryAnnual0.5 0-0  LMHSNDM31 
Physalis missouriensisMissouri groundcherryAnnual1.0 0-0  LMHNM20 
Physalis obscura Annual1.0 -  LMHSNM20 
Physalis peruvianaGoldenberry, Peruvian groundcherryPerennial1.2 10-12  LMHSNM510
Physalis philadelphicaWild Tomatillo, Mexican groundcherryAnnual0.6 6-9  LMHSNM41 
Physalis pruinosaStrawberry TomatoAnnual0.6 4-8  LMHSNDM30 
Physalis pubescensGround Cherry, Husk tomatoAnnual0.5 10-12  LMHSNDM410
Physalis pumilaPrairie Ground Cherry, Dwarf groundcherryPerennial0.3 0-0  LMHNM20 
Physalis subglabrataLongleaf groundcherryPerennial1.5 4-8  LMHSNDM20 
Physalis variovestitaField groundcherry 0.0 0-0  LMHNM20 
Physalis virginianaVirginia Ground CherryPerennial0.6 6-9  LMHSNM210
Physalis virginiana sonorae Perennial0.0 -  LMHSNDM20 
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Author

Makino.

Botanical References

200

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