, is a relative of P. peruviana (Cape Gooseberry), easily identifiable by the larger, bright orange to red papery covering over its fruit, which resemble Chinese lanterns. It is native from southern Europe east across southern Asia to Japan.
The flowers are white, with a five-lobed corolla 10–15 mm across, with an inflated basal calyx which matures into the papery orange fruit covering, 4–5 cm long and broad.
A new steroidal constituent named physalin T (3) was isolated from the aqueous extract of Physalis alkekengi var. francheti. Based on 1H and 13C NMR spectral studies the structure was assigned as 2,3-dihydrophysalin D, i.e., 5alpha,6beta-dihydroxy-2,3,5,6-tetrahydrophysalin B, which is the first example of a natural physalin possessing a saturated ring A moiety. The structure was confirmed by the chemical transformation from the known physalin D (2) to physalin T.