T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Physalis peruviana (Cape Gooseberry)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Physalis
Species: P. peruviana
Binomial name: Physalis peruviana 
Common Name: Cape Gooseberry 

Cape Gooseberry is a member of the plant family Solanaceae and is indigenous to South America, it is related to a large number of edible plants, including tomato, eggplant and potato, and other members of the nightshades. It is a herb that grows up to 1m tall and is densely hairy The flowers are pale yellow with patches of purple toward base, Flowering occurs in Jan-Dec. The fruit is a small round bright yellow berry about the size of a marble with numerous small yellow seeds enclosed in a lantern-like persistent calyx. It is sweet when ripe, making it ideal for snacks, pies or jams. It is popular in fruit salads, sometimes combined with avocado.
In New Zealand it is not legally declared a Pest Plant and can be found as sattered individuals through open and disturbed areas and it has no notable impact.


The berry calyx



Dry berry calyx with fruit inside

Cape Gooseberry frui
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