Cutleaf Ground Cherry - Smooth Ground Cherry - Virginia Ground Cherry - Husk Tomato
Physalis angulata Linnaeus
Solanaceae (Nightshade) Family

Plant is an upright, smooth to hairy perennial with a rhizome from which new growth emerges. Preferred habitat is roadsides and waste sites. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

Leaves are alternate on the stem; one whole part; stalked; lance-like to oval; no teeth and no lobes or occasionally with teeth. Tip is pointed and base is wedge-

The flowers are in the leaf axil; solitary; bisexual in nature and symmetrical in form. The calyx is 5-lobed; the corolla is bell-shaped with wavy tips. Flowers occur in the spring.

Clammy Groud Cherry
P. heterophylla

The Clammy Ground Cherry is nearly identical to the Smooth Ground Cherry, except the leaf base is rounded, and there are few teeth on the margin. The stems have sticky hairs.

Fruit is a berry, partially enclosed by a papery shell (modified calyx).

In pioneer times the ripened fruit was “put up” just as is done today to preserve garden tomatoes. A word of caution; however, the green fruit is toxic but perfectly safe when matured to red.

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