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Chinese Lanterns

Nymania capensis

Also known as

Karoo Lantern, Kipkippers

Full Sun
Advanced care
Light watering


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

Chinese Lanterns Overview

Karoo lantern, or known as the Klapperbos, in Afrikaans derives its common names from the shape of its bright, colorful fruit, an indication of the uniqueness of this hardy and drought tolerant tree. Not only an ornamental garden plant, it also has a history of being used in traditional medicine. Despite being known to be hard to propagate, this tree is a very unique specimen that is a great addition to any desert or rocky garden.

Common problems with Chinese Lanterns

Pests include aphids. Diseases include fungi and root rot.

How to harvest Chinese Lanterns

Seeds are contained in inflated, papery capsules. The capsules must be dry when harvesting the seeds. Harvest by hand.

How to propagate Chinese Lanterns


Seed is sown in late autumn or early spring. Seeds contained in inflated, papery capsules ripen in Spring. Harvest seed from dry capsules. Sow 1cm deep. Cover with a layer of coarse sand and wet.


Semi-ripe cuttings in summer.

Special features of Chinese Lanterns

Drought resistant

Very drought tolerant, suitable for xeriscaping.

Attracts useful insects

Insects such as bees and bumble bees.

Repels harmful insects

Shown to have insecticidal and antifeedant(stop insects eating it)properties.

Attractive flowers

Attracts bees

Other uses of Chinese Lanterns

Grown for its flowers and fruits.


The Nama roasted and powdered the root to make an effective ointment for wound healing. Root tea was used for stomach disorders and crushed leaves inhaled for headaches.

Hot + Dry | Area Specific

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