What do you call this plant? Japanese lantern? Chinese lantern? Physalis? Whatever name you know it by, isn’t it extraordinary?
I mean, what is this? Is it a fruit? Are these petals? Or leaves? Or what?
Well, turns out these are sepals forming a calyx – the sepals of a flower are a form of protection, but whilst they are usually green, and you probably don’t normally really notice them, in this particular flower they form this papery orange lantern.
Sometimes protection is just so beautiful!
By the way, I’m no botanist, so in Montaigne’s famous words “Que sais-je?” (“What do I know?”) – if you know more about this please share in the comments…..