Physalis alkekengi. Chinese Lanterns Physalis seeds grow into compact bushes of dense foliage. Its insignificant white flowers are followed by inedible, tomato-like fruits that form inside distinctive orange and red, papery coverings. Physalis develops an extensive root system and can be prevented from becoming weedy by growing it in large containers. The papery coverings that resemble paper lanterns dry well and look great in fall displays. Left in the elements, they slowly disintegrate, revealing a complex network of cells that resembles lattice work. Physalis is a close relative of the Cape Gooseberry but is not grown as a food crop. This plant grows 40-60cm (15-24″) tall.