Revisiting the “Chinese Lanterns”

Some weeks back I shared a couple of shots of what I found are Physalis “Chinese Lanterns” growing on a vine over my neighbor’s fence and I have been mesmerized by them! They seemed to have turned red as they matured and then faded before falling to the ground. Here’s 6 shots I made of them recently (the unidentified insect is a bonus!) . . .

Physalis “Chinese Lantern”, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica
Continue reading “Revisiting the “Chinese Lanterns””

Physalis “Chinese Lantern”

What I can find online (Wikipedia link) about this plant is that it is in the genus of Physalis, with “approximately 75 to 90 flowering plant species in the nightshade family (Solanaceae), which are native to the Americas and Australasia.” ~says Wikipedia

Variously call Chinese Lantern, Japanese Lantern, Bladder Cherry, Ground Cherry, Tomatillo (a red or gold fruit grows inside the lantern or bladder). I have seen them in other parts of Costa Rica and finally tried to research online. I won’t venture to guess which of the up to 90 species this particular plant is. 🙂

I made these 2 photos across the driveway from my garden, on my landlord’s property where they appear to be a wild vine climbing up another plant. I hope to eventually learn more about them. These two shots seem to show them at different stages of development.

Physalis Fruit, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica
Continue reading “Physalis “Chinese Lantern””

Red Vein Indian Mallow

The Abutilon striatum (or Abutilon pictum) – Red Vein Indian Mallow flower was possibly my best “find” on last week’s trip, or at least it is my best “lifer” or first-time-seen item of nature at Guayabo Lodge. (Note that the Golden Scarab Beetle and Black Tarantula Spider were also firsts for me in Costa Rica, but this flower was to me the most beautiful and the biggest prize! 🙂

You can read about the Red Vein Indian Mallow on several websites: came up first in the search window and has an especially nice photo as does, and then for more scientific sites try or

It is native to southern Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. The plant has become naturalized in Central America, and is used in horticulture. Common names include red vein abutilon, red vein Indian mallow, red vein flowering maple, Chinese-lantern and red vein Chinese lanterns.

Red Vein Indian Mallow, Guayabo Lodge, Turrialba, Cartago, Costa Rica

And some more photos of this unique flower at Guayabo Lodge . . .

Continue reading “Red Vein Indian Mallow”

Mexican Silverspot & A Wasp

I’m not sure if the wasp was challenging the butterfly for the flower or just happen to pass by. 🙂 But as usual, neither stayed long! This is a common butterfly and you can see one more in my Mexican Silverspot Gallery and how different the other side of their wings are; but the flower is what’s unusual and at Guayabo Lodge was my first time to see it. It is a “Red Vein Indian Mallow” (Abution striatum) sometimes incorrectly called a “Chinese Lantern” and one of the Ticos there called it a “bottle flower” in Spanish, “Flor de botella.” I will do a later post on just this flower with more information and better photos of the flower. 🙂

Mexican Silverspot & a wasp on a Red Vein Indian Mallow flower, Guayabo Lodge, Turrialba, Costa Rica.
Continue reading “Mexican Silverspot & A Wasp”