Category: Food



Introduction and description


Physalis is a genus of flowering plants in the nightshade family (Solanaceae).  Many Physalis species are called groundcherries. One name for Physalis peruviana is Inca berry; another is Cape gooseberry. Another name used to refer to the fruit is simply golden berries.  They are all grouped here because they share a number of features and it is convenient to compare them.  The observations on medicinal properties always refer to the specific plant.

Physalis grow in warm temperate and subtropical regions of the world. Most of the species, of which there may be 75-90, are indigenous to the New World.  Cultivated species and weedy annuals have been introduced worldwide. At least 46 species are endemic to the country of Mexico.

A notable feature is the formation of a large papery husk derived from the calyx, which partly or fully encloses the fruit. The fruit is small and orange, similar in size, shape and structure to a small tomato - leading to yet another name for the fruit - the Tomatillo.


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