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Physalis philadelphica - Lam.

Common Name Wild Tomatillo, Mexican groundcherry
Family Solanaceae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards All parts of the plant, except the fruit, are poisonous[19, 65].
Habitats Not known in a truly wild situation, it is found as a weed of cultivation.
Range N. America and S. America.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Physalis philadelphica Wild Tomatillo, Mexican groundcherry


Physalis philadelphica Wild Tomatillo, Mexican groundcherry

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Physalis philadelphica is a ANNUAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. 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 moist soil.

Synonyms

P. aequanta. Jacq.

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit.
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked[2, 50, 105]. A delicious flavouring when used like a tomato and added to soups, stews etc[K]. 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.

Ophthalmic.

The juice from the berries has been used as an eyewash[257].

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

Succeeds in any well-drained soil in full sun or light shade[200]. Cultivated for its edible fruit in the Ukraine[50]. There are some named varieties[183, 200]. 'Purple de Milpa' has small purple-tinged fruits with a sharp flavour, they keep well[200]. Closely related to P. ixocarpa, this is probably the wild species that P. ixocarpa was derived from in cultivation[170].

Propagation

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

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

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 ixocarpaTomatillo40
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 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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Expert comment

Author

Lam.

Botanical References

170200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

   Jul 14 2012 12:00AM

My goal was to try a dozen plants. .... Next year for sure two dozen!!! I'll try from seed and start my own!! Beautiful plant,...just learned that the plant itself is poisonous- good to know. Easy to grow! Beautiful, God Bless the Mexicans for sharing their salsas. Good Luck to all that try! I watered one during the heat, it rusted out around the bottom,... I was looking for a cure here on this site. But I still have 11 very well grown plants...... I'd like a whole field though. Beautiful plant indeed!

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Subject : Physalis philadelphica  
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