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These pretty little things


I don’t know how I wasn’t aware of these when I was in the States (they’re originally South American, after all) but I love them. Physalis. AKA uchuva, Cape gooseberry, Inca berry, Aztec berry, golden berry, giant ground cherry, African ground cherry, Peruvian ground cherry, Peruvian cherry, amour en cage (love in a cage, which is rather wonderful). Little sweet and tart orange fruits in a sweet little paper lantern.

Seeing as I was so fond of them (and they are so expensive), Uncle B reckoned he could grow me some. And so he did. Aren’t these awesome? Do check them out in color.

See? There are advantages to being a gardener’s moll.

Good weekend, everyone!


Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: October 16, 2015, 10:54 pm

Physalis is a genus of flowering plants in the nightshade family.

George Takei voice “OH My!”

…and is related to the tomato? So the tomato is somehow related to nightshade? No wonder the Europeans thought they were poisonous.

Bitter/sweet and best when dipped in chocolate. (so the internet says)

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: October 16, 2015, 11:07 pm

Looks like they’d be hard to grow…kudos!

Have a nice weekend, everyone :+)

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 16, 2015, 11:21 pm

There are apparently 90+ species of physalis. I didn’t make any links, did I? I took the pictures earlier, but we went out and came back late and I’ve only just posted the text.

But yes, it’s a nightshade. The one he grew me is Physalis peruviana.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: October 17, 2015, 12:09 am

It’s one of the most valuable, complex and fascinating families of plants that we have, Skandia (and my favourite) – the solanaceae. It contains a lot of useful (and some very unpleasant) drugs but also potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and many ornamentals like petunias and nicotiania (um, yes, tobacco).

The fact that so many poisonous and psychoactive alkaloids come from it is certainly why it got its sinister reputation but as they also have their uses in medicine, I tend to think that as just one more reason to like it.

Comment from Nicole
Time: October 17, 2015, 12:23 am

Those are beautiful! I have never heard of them.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: October 17, 2015, 12:41 am

Tomatillos—that’s what they’re called in Texas. Though I never bought any that looked as pretty as yours. That photo is gorgeous. Very popular in Tex-Mex cuisine, especially salsa.

Comment from Nina
Time: October 17, 2015, 12:54 am

I still need a man like that for my own! I’d be glad to be his moll if he would grow me gooseberries an’ stuff.

Beautiful and tasty!

Comment from David Gillies
Time: October 17, 2015, 12:57 am

It makes one wonder what the utility is of a taxonomic class that contains aubergines, gooseberries, Habanero peppers and henbane (the last of which will kill yer chickens dead if you don’t grub it up pronto).

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: October 17, 2015, 1:05 am

I quite like the paper lanterns. Badgers do take good care of thier Badger Babes!

Comment from catnip
Time: October 17, 2015, 4:37 am

We grew ground cherries (not sure of the variety, but yummy) a few years ago, and they flourished. We have fairly cold winters, hot summers, and they re-seeded themselves for several years in a row, all over the place.

Comment from Browndog
Time: October 19, 2015, 11:42 pm

These look, suspiciously, like what we call “Japanese Lanterns”.
If they are, god help you and your garden as they will overrun your beds.
Any trace of roots left in the ground will result in the damn things coming back in forces unimaginable.

Comment from Sigivald
Time: October 20, 2015, 10:10 pm

Deborah: The Tomatillo and Cape Gooseberry are related, but NOT the same thing.

Cape Gooseberry [also not related to gooseberries!] are sweet when ripe, if also tart.

Tomatillos … not really, ever.

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: October 21, 2015, 4:00 pm

Sigivald @ October 20, 2015, 10:10 pm:
Deborah: The Tomatillo and Cape Gooseberry are related, but NOT the same thing.

Indeed so. Tomatillo is physalis philadelphica, Cape Gooseberry is physalis peruviana. Also, tomatillo is usually green or greenish-red, while Cape Gooseberry is golden yellow-red.

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