Plant id Chinese lantern


Hi, I moved into a house last winter so I am discovering new plants (and weeds) in the garden these days. I am not sure what these are in the photo, which have been sprouting up in one patch. Can you help?


Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners with your gardening question.

At this point, I cannot say for certain as it is tricky to identify without the benefit of the flower.  Since it is in a clump, I would suggest that it may have been intentionally planted by the former homeowner.  In that case, it is most likely a hardy perennial such as Chinese lantern (Physalis alkekengi).

Please be aware that these perennials are  aggressive spreaders and are best kept out of the perennial border so they don’t take over. Although grown for their spectacular fruit, it is better to grow them in containers or in an area of the garden where you do not mind them spreading.
If in fact is a Chinese lantern you will notice small white flowers appear in June/July, over the coarse green leaves. Pods then develop: green at first, and then the orange colour develops, even after the

If you are interested in being sure, you can send us another picture once the flowers develop or, you can take a stalk with leaves to a respected nursery.

Good luck with your discoveries and best wishes for enjoying your new garden.