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Physalis pubescens  Syn Physalis pruinosa, Physalis pubescens grisea,
(aka   Husk Cherry, Cape Gooseberry, Mullaca, Camapu, Bolsa mullaca, Wild tomato, Winter cherry, Juá-de-capote, Capulí cimarrón, Battre-autour, K'u chih, Urmoa batoto bita, Cecendet, Dumadu harachan, Hog weed, Nvovo, Polopa, Saca-buche, Thongtheng, Tino-tino, Topatop, Wapotok)

For growing instructions and seed specs, see Cultivation below

Ground cherry  Heirloom Golden (70 days)  Low, spreading bush with round 1/2-3/4 inch berries encased in a papery hull, calyxthat turns brown when the fruit is ripe.  Used in preserves and pies.  Use can be traced to 1837 in Pennsylvania.
#690  Packet  $4.50   Approximately 25 seeds
#LG690   Large Packet  $14.00   Approximately 1000 seeds


Physalis are annual plants which is grown for edible fruits or as ornamentals and is a member of the Potato tomato famly, Solanaceae.  Our selection, Physalis pruinosa, is an edible variety which is native to the eastern and mid-United States.   Cultivated for their edible 1/2 inch fruits, the plants grow to about 2ft in height and possess both male and female flowers. (All parts of the plants besides the fruit is poisonous)  Leaves resemble their cousin, the tomato, in shape and size, though they tend to be more triangular and slightly hairy.  Plant stems are woody and straighter than tomatoes and also slighty hairy  Blooms are yellow with five darker spots in the center, bell-shaped and about 1/2 inch long and make a pretty show.  The plants prefer a location in full sun and thrive in even poor soils, as long as it is well drained

Ground cherries are propagated by sowing seed, either directly into the garden in the spring, or for transplants.   FOR TRANSPLANTS:  For transplants, sow seed in pots or trays in a greenhouse or warm place in the spring 8-10 weeks before outdoor planting is expected.  Keep moist at  about 70-80F.  After the seedlings emerge, grow on in the greenhouse or warm location at 60-75F at night and 70-85F during the day.  When the seedlings have developed their second pair of leaves, transplant to larger containers or flats that allow them adequate space to grow, being careful not to disturb the roots overly much.  Gradually harden off the plants, lowering the temperatures 3-4 weeks before transplanting outdoors.  Transplant in full sun to the garden when all danger of frost is past and the soil has warmed to about 60F.  Plant seedlings 18-36 inches apart in rows 24-36 inches apart.  Keep the plants free of weeds.  Mulch can be used to conserve water and keep weeds down.    FOR DIRECT SOWING:  Prepare garden are by digging and working in compost, humus or peat moss.  Sow 3 seeds every foot in rows 18-24 inches apart.  When seedlings emerge, thin plants to 1 plant every 18-24 inches.  Keep weeds down.

HARVEST:  Fruits are encapsulated in a husk.  The husk will dry and become transparent in appearance and the fruit will turn a golden yellow when ripe.  Pick the fruits and remove the husk (DO NOT EAT THE HUSK!).  Store at 34F for up to 3 weeks.
Ground cherries have a sweet flavor with a slight citric tartness.  They are eaten fresh or cooked in pies or preserves. A tea made from the cooked fruit is used to treat sore throats and cough.

SEED SPECS:  Average 6000 seeds per ounce


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