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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 14 | Solanaceae

1. Alkekengi Miller, Gard. Dict. Abr. ed. 4. vol. 1. 1754.

Chinese lantern plant, Japanese lantern, Jerusalem-cherry, strawberry ground-cherry, winter-cherry [Probably from Greek halikakabon, bladder, known in Persian as al-kakunadj and in Arabic as hub-ul-kakinj, name for a nightshade]

Janet R. Sullivan

Herbs, perennial, rhizomatous, glabrous or sparsely pubescent, hairs simple, eglandular. Stems usually simple. Leaves alternate or geminate. Inflorescences axillary, solitary flowers. Flowers 5-merous; calyx campanulate, lobes 5, lanceolate, accrescent, inflated and completely enclosing berry; corolla white with pale green in throat, campanulate-rotate, limb widely flaring, lobes broad, blunt; stamens inserted at base of corolla tube, equal; anthers basifixed, oblong, dehiscing by longitudinal slits; ovary 2-carpellate; style slender, straight; stigma broadly capitate. Fruits berries, globose. Seeds reniform, flattened. x = 12.

Species 1: introduced; Eurasia, introduced also in Australia.

Until recently, Alkekengi was treated within Physalis; phylogenetic analysis showed that it does not fall within the strongly supported clade of New World Physalis (M. Whitson and P. S. Manos 2005). Alkekengi can be distinguished by its lobed, white corolla and orange-red or bright red fruiting calyx.

Lower Taxon


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