The Q&A Archives: Chinese Lanterns

Question: Our neighbors have their Chinese lantern planted along the fence line, which is fine. Although my two year old son like to play with the little orange berries inside. Can any one tell me if these are poisonous?

Answer: Chinese lantern is Physalis, a member of the Solanaceae family. Members of this family include plants with edible parts (tomatoes and potatoes) and plants that are poisonous (deadly nightshade). I think you'd be wise to stay on the safe side and teach your 2-year old to look, but not touch the Chinese lanterns.

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