Caged Love (Physalis Alkekengi)

Caged love or Japanese lantern: Physalis alkekengi

Caged love or Japanese lantern are the other names used in everyday language to speak of the Physalis alkekengi: we understand why in view of the plant. It is a fairly vigorous and hardy rhizomatous perennial that grows relatively quickly and is gaining ground: it can be nearly 1 m wide and 70 cm high.

Its leaves are triangular or even somewhat elongated rhombus 6 to 10 cm long. Small cream flowers form in the axils of the leaves in July. They turn into bright orange fruit berries enclosed in a red chalice that looks like a swollen membrane 3 to 5 cm in diameter. This membrane will gradually become finely serrated to reveal the fruit.

As the plant contains a few alkaloids, it can cause digestive disorders: it is better to avoid ingesting or creasing its leaves. So we use only its original berries for dry bouquets.

  • Family: Solanaceae
  • Type: perennial
  • Origin: Europe and West Asia
  • Color: Bright white flowers, berries and chalice bright red chalices
  • Sowing: yes
  • Cutting: yes
  • Planting: spring
  • Flowering: flowers in July, fruit in September
  • Height: 70 cm

Soil and ideal exposure to plant a caged love in the garden

Caged love requires well-drained soil and sunny or partial shade exposure.

Date of sowing and planting of love in a cage

Bucket sowing is done in March, as is the division of the feet.

Care advice and culture of love in a cage

You may need to stare.

Harvesting, conservation and use of caged love

You will cut the stems carrying the Japanese lanterns at the end of summer when they will be well red, you will dry them and they will make very pretty dry bouquets for the winter.

Diseases, pests and parasites of love in a cage

The caterpillars can attack the Alkekenge.

Location and favorable association of love in a cage

As it tends to be invasive, plan a space of about 1 m in a massif or in your kitchen garden.

Suggested varieties of love in a cage for a garden plantation

We often confuse love in a cage, Physalis alkekengi with the Peruvian cockroach, Physalis peruviana we eat the orange fruits that make very pretty decorations of desserts.

Video: How to Eat Physalis Peruviana, Cape Gooseberry, Golden Berry, Inca Berry.

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