Physalis ixocarpa - Brot.
Common Name Tomatillo
Family Solanaceae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards All parts of the plant, except the fruit, are poisonous[19, 65].
Habitats Waste places[43].
Range Southern and Central N. America as far north as southern Quebec.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Frost Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

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UPDATE: Physalis ixocarpa Brot. ex Hornem. is a synonym of Physalis philadelphica Lam

Physalis ixocarpa Tomatillo
Physalis ixocarpa Tomatillo
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Physalis ixocarpa is a ANNUAL growing to 1.2 m (4ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8 and is frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

P. aequata. Jacq.

 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit.
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked[3, 38, 61]. The fruit is a berry that is 2.5cm or more in diameter[200]. When not fully ripe, the fruit can be cooked and used in curries, sauces, soups, stews etc[183]. A delicious flavouring when used like a tomato and added to soups, stews etc[K]. The fully ripe fruit is sweeter and can be eaten out of hand, added to salads or used in pies, preserves etc[183]. The plant conveniently wraps up each fruit in its own 'paper bag' (botanically, the calyx) to protect it from pests and the elements. This calyx is toxic and should not be eaten. The fruit can be stored for up to a year if picked before they are fully ripe and left inside their calyx.
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details
Succeeds in any well-drained soil in full sun or light shade[200]. Prefers a rich light soil[33, 38]. Tolerates hot dry weather[160]. One report suggests that the plant is a perennial but, if this is true, it is not winter hardy in Britain though it can be cultivated as an annual for its edible fruit in much the same way that tomatoes are grown[34]. There are some named varieties[183]. Some botanists unite this species with P. philadelphica[50], saying that it arose from P. philadelphica through cultivation. A slow growing plant[160]. Insect resistant[160].
Seed - sow March/April in a greenhouse only just covering the seed. Germination usually takes place quickly and freely. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots of fairly rich soil when they are large enough to handle and plant them out after the last expected frosts. Consider giving them some protection such as a cloche until they are growing away well. Diurnal temperature fluctuations assist germination[170].
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Physalis acutifoliaSharp-Leaf Ground Cherry20
Physalis alkekengiWinter Cherry, Strawberry groundcherry,Ground Cherry, Chinese Lantern22
Physalis alkekengi franchetiiWinter Cherry22
Physalis angulataCutleaf Ground Cherry31
Physalis angustifoliaCoastal groundcherry20
Physalis arenicolaCypresshead groundcherry20
Physalis carpenteriCarpenter's groundcherry20
Physalis caudellaSouthwestern groundcherry20
Physalis crassifoliaYellow nightshade groundcherry20
Physalis foetens 20
Physalis foetens neomexicana 20
Physalis greenei 20
Physalis hederaefolia cordifoliaGround Cherry20
Physalis heterophyllaClammy Ground Cherry, Rowell's groundcherry31
Physalis lanceolataGround Cherry, Sword groundcherry21
Physalis latiphysaBroadleaf groundcherry20
Physalis macrophysaBladder Ground Cherry, Longleaf groundcherry20
Physalis minimaSunberry, Pygmy groundcherry31
Physalis missouriensisMissouri groundcherry20
Physalis obscura 20
Physalis peruvianaGoldenberry, Peruvian groundcherry51
Physalis philadelphicaWild Tomatillo, Mexican groundcherry41
Physalis pruinosaStrawberry Tomato30
Physalis pubescensGround Cherry, Husk tomato41
Physalis pumilaPrairie Ground Cherry, Dwarf groundcherry20
Physalis subglabrataLongleaf groundcherry20
Physalis variovestitaField groundcherry20
Physalis virginianaVirginia Ground Cherry21
Physalis virginiana sonorae 20


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Botanical References
Links / References
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Readers comment
d   Thu Jul 27 2006
i;m growing these but fruits drop off after flowering, i'm confused! if anyone has any tips i'd resally like to know where i'm going wrong.
   May 8 2011 12:00AM
I grow them in with tomatoes in the cold greenhouse in Manchester, UK and have been growing them for about 15 years. I train the (branching) stems to wires so I end up with a big bush (I don't side-shoot them like the cordon tomatoes). I grow a few more outside where there is some yield on smaller plants. Tomatillo in Spanish means "little tomato" - in Mexico these are "tomates" while what we can tomatoes are "jitomates". They sell them in the market with the husks off and they grow a good deal bigger than mine (golf ball rather than chestnut sized. In Mexico they are an essential ingredient of salsa verde ("green sauce") made from by stewing chopped tomatillos, coriander leaf, onion, chilli and sugar. Try it on a maize (or if you must wheat) tortilla with a fried egg on top - huevos rancheros. They store on the kitchen worktop in their husks until they are all used, about the end of January, so they are a winter source of vitamin C (I suppose but I don't know how much it deteriorates in storage) - and they save buying imported or tinned tomatoes since they are used in much the same way in sauces, curries etc. But they have their own distinctive taste and texture - once acquired it is irresistible. But it is possible to make a passable salsa verde using gooseberries instead.
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Subject : Physalis ixocarpa  

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