Author Topic: Physalis Species Review  (Read 890 times)

Galatians522

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Physalis Species Review
« on: May 28, 2023, 10:21:16 PM »
So, I grew two kinds of Physalis this year: New Hannover Ground Cherry (Physalis pruinosa) from Baker Creek and Ayacucho Giant Cape Gooseberry (Physalis peruviana) from Trade Winds. The ground cherry I planted in November and the Cape Gooseberry I planted in January. I can see why they are different species because the plants are totally different. The ground cherry grows low to the ground (~12") and likes cool but not freezing temps. The Cape Gooseberry has leaves that are almost 10 times the size of the ground cherry and makes a bush 4-5' tall! Both were less trouble to grow than most tomatoes (Everglades being the exception) with the Cape Gooseberry being the easier of the two in Florida conditions. Berries on the New Hannover run from 1/4" - 5/8" with the average being slightly less than 1/2". Berries on the Cape Gooseberry run from 5/8" to over an 1". I have not picked as many yet, but the average seems to be between 3/4" and 7/8." This may not sound like much but it makes a huge difference in how long it takes to fill a bucket. For flavor I like the Cape Gooseberry better. They have a fruity, perfumy, sweet and sour taste that is hard to describe. The New Hanover (a taste test winner apparently) had more of a 1 dimensional flavor to me. It was good, but you had to eat half a dozen to get the full flavor because of the small size. Plus, it had the bad habbit of dropping fruit before it was fully ripe and unlike a tomato they will not ripen off the bush unless they have already started the color break on the plant--very frustrating. Based on this one season I think the Cape Gooseberry (called Poha) in Hawaii is a better choice for most Florida gardens--bigger fruit, stonger flavor, and tougher plant. The ground cherry excells in two areas, though. It is much easier to cover in the frost (just throw a blanket over the top) and it is not smashed by high winds (staking or caging may have helped with that on the Cape Gooseberry). I think I will continue to grow both--at least for a couple seasons.

Please let me know your thoughts on this or experiences with other Physalis.

Oqueel

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Re: Physalis Species Review
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2023, 01:27:32 AM »
Thank you for this review. I've tried to grow both these plants (no named cultivars though) for several years but never got any seeds to germinate. I tried again about a couple of weeks ago, using the wet tissue method, but since I'd never had any success, I didn't check on them for days. This time, the Physalis pruinosa germinated (almost 100%) and got too leggy! The P. peruviana still hasn't but I'll keep it for a little longer (and check it regularly!) So now I have to buy more seeds of the P. pruinosa but at least there's a good chance I'll get something going. It's a pity it got the worse review but at this point for me, beggars can't be choosers. But why doesn't the Poha berry sprout though?! Frustrating!

JCorte

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Re: Physalis Species Review
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2023, 08:03:45 AM »
I trialed several different sources of ground cherries and giant cape gooseberries. 

Ground cherries never did well for me and didn't really taste good.  Maybe they need more heat to develop good flavor.  My garden is mostly heavy clay and I live in a cool, humid, coastal microclimate.   

The giant cape gooseberries seeds I had started from different sources as well as cuttings from Fruitwood Nursery grew fine but the they didn't taste that good.  Not that they were bad, but I thought they would be tastier from descriptions.  A couple of years ago, I bought some fruit for sale at Trader Joe's imported from Columbia.  I forgot about them and didn't try them before they started to mold but I planted the seeds and grew out the best looking plant.  I mostly wanted to grow them for their health benefits but these tasted good with a unique flavor.  It's been a while since I tried them but I think I remember a slight bitterness to them, maybe from the seeds or skin.  I liked these fruits a lot.

The plant didn't produce a lot last year, but I had neglected it until I had a chance to taste the fruit.  It's growing back this year, so definitely will be taking better care of it.  I noticed the flavor improves after they have sat on the counter for a several days after they have fallen.  I kept them in their husks and opened them up when they turned bright orange.  When they first fall off the plant they had a more greenish orange color to them. 

Janet

SHV

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Re: Physalis Species Review
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2023, 09:51:11 AM »
I have not yet tried the ground cherry or the pruinosa species.  I have grown and tasted the peruviana gooseberry. My first experience with gooseberry was in India.  I thought they were a perfect blend of sweet and sour, with a pleasant perfume aroma.  I ate so many there that I decided to grow them back at home.  They grow like a tomato plant in my climate and produce a ton of fruit. Not a fan of having to unpackage every berry, but it does seem to protect them from birds.  Unfortunately, they just didnít have the same flavor or sweetness that I remembered from India sourced gooseberry.  They werenít bad, just not exceptional.  I have purchased the Trader Joeís ones as well, but was similarly underwhelmed.  Perhaps I will remember to bring back some seeds the next time I taste a good variety since they grow so well in my climate.

JCorte

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Re: Physalis Species Review
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2023, 10:30:44 AM »
I didn't taste the fruits I bought from TJs, I wonder now if they tasted the same as the plant I grew from the seeds.  I find the concept of terroir and how it influences flavor interesting.  For decades now I've been saving my own seeds from the best and healthiest plants that have adapted to my growing conditions. 

Yes, save seeds next time!  I wonder if it would taste the same grown under your conditions, even if climate is similar, soil mineral composition, pH, water quality, etc, can affect flavor.

Janet

nullzero

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Re: Physalis Species Review
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2023, 01:11:45 PM »
I have been growing different physalis for a while now.

The best so far is the peaceseeds strain giant cape gooseberry. Large fruit and good flavor and production. I grew a groundcherry strain from a clone from a guy in Vista. This one I tried to eliminate but seedlings still pop up. The flavor was ok but not comparable to the peaceseeds.

I actually just ordered seeds from Etsy of two different cape gooseberry. From the pictures they look different and good, will cross my fingers they are keepers.
Grow mainly fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

JCorte

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Re: Physalis Species Review
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2023, 01:50:10 PM »
Nullzero,

I tried to grow the Peace Seeds strain but the plant didn't do well for me and I don't remember it fruiting.  I think I had it directly in the ground instead of in a pot, are they susceptible to root knot nematodes?  I'll try their seeds again.

Hope the two new sources do well for you, maybe we can trade seeds or cuttings in the future of our best tasting selections.

Janet

FloridaManDan

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Re: Physalis Species Review
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2023, 02:00:30 PM »
I shared my 'Cossack Pineapple' Ground Cherry (P. pruinosa) seeds from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange with a few people on the forum, some of which had success growing them last year in FL and Thailand. Seems they can take the heat and humidity. Haven't had adequate space in my own yard yet to try them.

Would be glad to share if I happen to find any spare.

Galatians522

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Re: Physalis Species Review
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2023, 03:44:58 PM »
I shared my 'Cossack Pineapple' Ground Cherry (P. pruinosa) seeds from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange with a few people on the forum, some of which had success growing them last year in FL and Thailand. Seems they can take the heat and humidity. Haven't had adequate space in my own yard yet to try them.

Would be glad to share if I happen to find any spare.

I see SESE also has a new vround cherry called Mary's Niagara that is supposed to be a litttle larger on a mire vigorous plant. The New Hanover has self seeded in my garden with the first plant of the second generation blooming now. I will see how it does over the summer. I assumed that fruit set would be poor in hot weather similar to tomato.

nullzero

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Re: Physalis Species Review
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2023, 08:48:54 PM »
Nullzero,

I tried to grow the Peace Seeds strain but the plant didn't do well for me and I don't remember it fruiting.  I think I had it directly in the ground instead of in a pot, are they susceptible to root knot nematodes?  I'll try their seeds again.

Hope the two new sources do well for you, maybe we can trade seeds or cuttings in the future of our best tasting selections.

Janet

Yes definitely can trade sometime. I am not sure how peaceseeds holds up to nematodes.
Grow mainly fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Galatians522

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Re: Physalis Species Review
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2023, 09:58:37 PM »
For what it is worth, the Cape Goseberry (Physalis  peruviana) tends to be more resistant (showing very few galls) according to a research paper I found. New Hannover ground cherry definitely suffers from galling at my location. Japanese Lantern (Physalis alkekengi) is basically immune according to the study.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325000176_Difference_in_Meloidogyne_incognita_propagation_among_ground_cherry_species&ved=2ahUKEwjegsO3up7_AhWcZTABHTmFDcgQFnoECB8QAQ&usg=AOvVaw3U_f9z1Vg39641CNtOKpzc

Ellocot

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Re: Physalis Species Review
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2023, 10:26:54 PM »





















Apologies if this is too many images.

I recently moved to Mississippi. One of my first goals was to identify any plants - new things.

One plant in these images, had smooth and large leaves. Figured it could be a hybrid. Instead it has small white flowers - small green berries with no husk. I'm good at identifying members of the same family I guess!


I figured that some people may have some interest in these.

One species here has tomatillo looking flowers, purple veins on its leaves, larger leaves than the other type. Plus it's leaves are fuzzy. Grows out a bit like a bushy plant.


The other species, I found a few plants in a neighbor farther up the roads yard / garden growing as a weed.

Took some cuttings of theirs - I only found one growing over on our property.

It has smaller leaves, they're smooth. Yellow / cream / white flowers rather than whatever other color. Grows straight upwards mostly.



Neither of these have sticky fruits.

I'd assume that the cream flowered / glossy smooth leaved one is Physalis angulata.

Ellocot

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Re: Physalis Species Review
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2023, 11:29:17 PM »












The images in the last post were a bit older. The heat wave - and the fact that I had to move the wild physalis specimens, lest they get killed by weed eating and things, kinda dampened their production.

The cuttings are starting to establish.


All of these plants had green fruits. I opened up papery / decaying husks and took their fruits.

I frankly dislike the taste of tomatillos. And that's what most green ground cherries will taste like.


One plant that I took a cutting of, flowered and made a pod. It was decaying and still husked but wasn't detached from the plant.

I opened it up, seems like I found either a husk whose fruit decayed while on the plant, or a husk within a husk which housed a small berry.

Bit of mold was inside with the seeds. They were mostly falling out or stuck to the paper. And yeah, I had to tear the calyx / husk off the plant despite it being in a state where it should've been detached.


I probably won't be doing seed sharing this year.

I plan to grow out a bunch of Physalis species in a raised bed next year. Zone 8b actually implies that I could start some this year.

I may have accidentally intermixed the two species fruits.

I'm likely going to just prep these seeds, and then scatter them over the herb bed - towards one side of it.


I also ordered Physalis crassifolia from Tradewinds fruit, just because it's not something that's easy to find online. I can't say if it's edible or not. Bitter usually implies steroidal compounds in this genus. I've read multiple sources saying that this is edible.

Most that say it's toxic don't explain why or say anything further.



Thick Leaf Ground Cherry / Physalis crassifolia. I've heard that it may cross well into other Physalis species. Few people that I know told me that. I'll see for myself if it's true.

I'd like to grow P. longifolia, P. heterophylla, P. hederifolia, P. virginiana - P. peruviana, P. pubescens, P. pruinosa, P. alkekengi, P. minima and other species/accessions of species.

It's probably possible to get a fruity giant ground cherry using tomatillos as a parent. It's also probably possible to use crosses of a purple and yellow tomatillo, to get rid of green genes / certain unpleasant flavors.

Most of these, I'm going to be growing out to start seed banks for future projects and just play around with some stuff.

Queen of Malinalco, and some purple tomatillo landraces would be some fun things to start out with.


Ayacucho giant cape gooseberry and Queen of Malinalco were both found by Joseph Simcox if I remember correctly. Or brought into further cultivation.

Queen Of Malinalco has a very interesting shape of fruit for a Tomatillo. Plus it's supposed to taste fruity and sweeter than regular tomatillos.

If the anthocyanin genes work the same as in tomatoes, then I'd guess that a lot of purple tomatillos still have the green stuff underneath them.

Selecting for Queen Of Malinalco crossed into a purple tomatillo landrace, and going for fruity / sweet and oblong fruits should give me a yellow - anthocyanin progeny eventually.


There are known P. heterophylla x P. virginiana crosses in nature.


There's also P. angulata x P. ixocarpa/philadelphica.

I'm taking these sources from another place.

www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2441596?uid=3739736&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21104315095421

tao.wordpedia.com/show_pdf.ashx?sess=ml3vf045udau3ev45enwxx45&file_name=JO00001451_39_42-48&file_type=r

As with Rubus species and the like, the same species can have different populations with different chromosome counts.

The same can happen in Solanum habrochaites and Solanum peruvianum. Those are more related to Physalis.


The Experimental Farm Network, tends to sometimes sell Denver Perennial Ground Cherry - probably Physalis longifolia. Sourced from Denver Colorado. They also sell some other ground cherries.


Lupinaster on Ebay sells a bunch of Physalis species - but he doesn't seem to sell to people in the United States or wherever else due to shipments being blocked.

Rarepalmseeds also sells some Physalis species.

These are both from out of the United States. I'd fill out a Phytosanitary and dump some extra money at them if I had it lying around.

This is something that will take awhile to play around with and get results from.


A perennial ground cherry / tomatillo hybrid with decent sized fruits - fruity, sweet, lasts long in its husks. Disease and pest resistant. Attracts native pollinators. And can support its fruit on its stems and whatnot. Plus the whole anthocyanin deal.

Some Physalis species, wild types probably have different anthocyanin genes than tomatillos. Could create deeper purples with breeding.


Physalis alkekengi isn't super edible. It's full of steroidal compounds. I know that Lupinaster had a mountain accession without any bad tastes - possibly lacked the compounds. Native to a Asia and parts of Europe.

Physalis minima is native to parts of Asia - including Australia. Large ranges usually means different species are bunched into a single one.

Those two species - all of the other mentioned ones are pretty much from the Americas. So, different pests evolved to mess with different groups of Physalis.

Isolation can cause a lack of hybridization barriers.

Grapes were bred with wild north american grapes to get rid of new pests. Borers and things.


I'm unsure if what I've all mentioned is of interest to anyone.


I'll be planting the possible double calyx seeds in a pot or something. The inside of whatever the inner husk was, seemed empty / hollow. There was probably a small fruit or something there at some point. It felt papery, still does. Dunno, but there's seeds.


I always like seeing others interested in this genus.


Ellocot

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Re: Physalis Species Review
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2023, 06:01:50 AM »

















These are from when I lived in PA. I believe they were Physalis heterophylla. Ideally they'd have ripened to a yellow color. And some fruits showed anthocyanin traits.

Unfortunately they were wees eated three years in a row despite being marked off.

I tried growing some in pots with cuttings. Sadly no seeds either.

Galatians522

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Re: Physalis Species Review
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2023, 09:03:13 PM »
 That's too bad. Did you get to taste any?

Ellocot

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Re: Physalis Species Review
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2023, 07:26:24 AM »
They tasted like an OK ground cherry.

Maybe like a standard type. I was mostly interested in the fact that they ripen to yellow and some fruits had deep purple markings in them.


 

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