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Published In: Species Plantarum 1: 183. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 9/22/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Introduced


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2. Physalis alkekengi L. (Chinese lantern plant)

Pl. 564 g; Map 2624

Plants perennial, with deep-set, long-creeping rhizomes. Stems 30–90 cm long, erect or ascending, unbranched or with few, ascending branches, glabrous or sparsely pubescent with spreading, multicellular, nonglandular hairs 0.5–1.5 mm long. Leaves short- to long-petiolate. Leaf blades 3–12 cm long, ovate to broadly ovate, angled or tapered to a sharply pointed tip, rounded to truncate or occasionally shallowly cordate at the base, the margins entire or with several, widely spaced, irregular, shallow to moderately deep, blunt to more commonly sharply pointed teeth per side, minutely nonglandular-hairy, the surfaces green when fresh, drying uniformly green or rarely yellowish- or orangish-tinged, glabrous or sparsely pubescent with short, nonglandular hairs. Flower stalks 9–13 mm long, becoming elongated to 20–40 mm at fruiting. Calyces 4–7 mm long at flowering, the lobes 2.0–3.5 mm long, the outer surface sparsely to moderately pubescent with short to moderately long (to 1 mm), nonglandular hairs at flowering, persistently hairy at fruiting, at fruiting becoming elongated to 30–55 mm long, shallowly 10-angled or 10-ribbed, concave at the base, bright orangish red to red. Corollas 10–15 mm long, white, the inner surface unmarked or sometimes with 5 green spots toward the base (these often merged into a ring). Stamens with slender filaments half as wide as the anthers or narrower, the anthers 2.5–3.0 mm long, yellow, arched but not coiled after dehiscence. Fruits 1.0–1.8 cm long, orangish red to red. 2n=24. June–September.

Introduced, uncommon, sporadic (Europe, Asia; introduced sporadically in the northern U.S.; Canada). Gardens, fencerows, and open, disturbed areas.

This species was first reported for Missouri by Dunn (1982). It is cultivated for its attractive reddish fruits and occasionally grows as a weed or escapes into adjacent, uncultivated areas. In their molecular study of the physaloid genera, Whitson and Manos (2005) concluded that P. alkekengi and its few relatives are not particularly closely related to the remainder of the genus Physalis. However, they considered their study too preliminary to permit them to propose a revised generic classification. Additionally, the species-level taxonomy of the P. alkekengi complex requires further research and the species is here circumscribed in a relatively inclusive sense to include more or less glabrous plants with somewhat larger fruiting calyces that have sometimes been segregated as var. franchetii (Mast.) Makino (P. franchetii Mast.).



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