My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

Physalis - Chinese lantern, cape gooseberry, Peruvian cherry, Inca berry

Physalis

Spiral flowers from Chinese lantern sepals for my Thanksgiving Harvest design.

Common name

Chinese lantern, cape gooseberry, Peruvian cherry, Inca berry

Origin

Indigenous to South America but was cultivated in South Africa in the Western Cape during the 19th century, imparting the common name "cape gooseberry". Also found in Japan

Varieties

The varieties found in Japan (Physalis alkekengi (Franhetti)) have larger pods than the green and yellow varieties found in South Africa

Colors

Green pods first appear and colour to gold, yellow or bright orange as the fruit ripens

Vase life

As "stem flowers" the husks will keep in water for ten days. If the fruit is left inside the husk its shelf life is thirty to forty five days. In permanent arrangements the husks will last for up to two years. Keeps its original colour well.

Scent

None

Uses

The cape gooseberry fruit is edible and look fantastic on desserts. The husks can be dried into a skeleton so that only the veins remain in tack. The pods look great in whimsical designs.

Conditioning

Give the stem a fresh cut and set into water to hydrate. Hang the mature stems upside down to dry.

Every week I add a new design with related tutorials. Be sure to subscribe to receive an email notification with design inspiration.

Related Designs

3 October 2018 Inside Pod Designing

Snip open a Physalis pod to create a cavity for delicate floral details.

3 October 2018 But what’s inside?

This week we are looking at the contents pages of my book... but more specifically at the sweet little pod design on the content page of my book.

31 October 2017 Mr Twig-or-cheat

An extra Almost-a-Design for Halloween this year

31 October 2017 Physalis Pod Stick-man

Glue twigs into a stick man for a Halloween design

1 November 2017 Pierce and stack fall leaves to rest on the edge of a container

Use one leaf to keep the next in place

1 November 2017 A Round

Create a delicate design that rests lightly on the edge of a container

27 September 2017 Tendril vine Wreath Pumpkin

Reshape a vine wreath into smaller wreaths to combine as a pumpkin

27 September 2017 As tendrils tend to do

Curl a wreath with tendrils to create a twig-pumpkin

29 October 2014 Frightfully Pretty

Weave a single strand Spanish Moss spider web

3 September 2014 Skeletonize Physalis Pods

Remove the pulp from the papery pod (sepal) covering the little berry of Chinese lantern plant so that only the vain framework remain

3 September 2014 What's done is done

My article and lace fine wreath design featured in the Autumn issue of <strong>DIY Weddings Magazine</strong>

20 February 2013 Designing with Mother Nature

Retail florists and wholesalers are already designing, ordering and preparing their product range for Mother's Day. This is my article that I wrote for the Mother's Day Design...

30 January 2013 It's High Time for Tea: from craft to art, taking a delicious floral journey with wire techniques

This was my last two designs for my It's High Time for Tea Floral Craft and Art Demonstration at The Capilano Flower Arranging Club meeting

16 October 2012 Bright, brighter… brightest!

Celebrate the bright colours of autumn with lilies and Chinese lanterns

23 March 2012 Drying Physalis sepals

Every Autumn we see the beautiful Physalis pods everywhere but they are easy to dry and preserve to use year round.

21 March 2012 A Floral Fable: Mood Design

This is a detailed look at my first Floral Fable demonstration design

8 October 2011 Remove the berry from a Physalis pod without ripping the sepal

Cut the sepal from the fruit

7 October 2011 Thanksgiving Harvest

Thanksgiving pumpkin with Chinese lanterns and spiral blossoms

12 April 2011 Forest Experience

This was a Flower Fantasy Competition Design staged by the Helderberg Flower Club, Western Cape Association of Flower Arrangers

14 April 2011 In the Bag

My bag was woven from re-purposed wire and recycled fishing line and tiny stems of growing sweet pea plants and orchids