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Toxic parts

All parts of the plant, except the fruit, are poisonous[1][2].

Edible uses


Fruit - raw or cooked[3][4][5]. The fruit is a berry that is 2.5cm or more in diameter[6]. When not fully ripe, the fruit can be cooked and used in curries, sauces, soups, stews etc[7]. A delicious flavouring when used like a tomato and added to soups, stews etc[K]. The fully ripe fruit is sweeter and can be eaten out of hand, added to salads or used in pies, preserves etc[7]. The plant conveniently wraps up each fruit in its own 'paper bag' (botanically, the calyx) to protect it from pests and the elements. This calyx is toxic and should not be eaten. The fruit can be stored for up to a year if picked before they are fully ripe and left inside their calyx.


Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Physalis ixocarpa.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

There are no medicinal uses listed for Physalis ixocarpa.


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Seed - sow March/April in a greenhouse only just covering the seed. Germination usually takes place quickly and freely. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots of fairly rich soil when they are large enough to handle and plant them out after the last expected frosts. Consider giving them some protection such as a cloche until they are growing away well. Diurnal temperature fluctuations assist germination[8].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Physalis ixocarpa. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Succeeds in any well-drained soil in full sun or light shade[6]. Prefers a rich light soil[9][4]. Tolerates hot dry weather[10].

One report suggests that the plant is a perennial but, if this is true, it is not winter hardy in Britain though it can be cultivated as an annual for its edible fruit in much the same way that tomatoes are grown[11]. There are some named varieties[7]. Some botanists unite this species with P. philadelphica[12], saying that it arose from P. philadelphica through cultivation.

A slow growing plant[10]. Insect resistant[10].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Physalis ixocarpa. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Physalis ixocarpa.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Physalis ixocarpa
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Drought
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
None listed.
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
Flower Colour
Flower Type


  1. ? Stary. F. Poisonous Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-35666-3 (1983-00-00)
  2. ? Frohne. D. and Pf?nder. J. A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants. Wolfe ISBN 0723408394 (1984-00-00)
  3. ? 3.03.1 Simmons. A. E. Growing Unusual Fruit. David and Charles ISBN 0-7153-5531-7 (1972-00-00)
  4. ? Simmons A. E. Simmons' Manual of Fruit. David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-7607-1 (1978-00-00)
  5. ? 5.05.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
  6. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  7. ? Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
  8. ? 8.08.1 Dremann. C. G. Ground Cherries, Husk Tomatoes and Tomatilloes. Redwood City Seed Co ISBN 0-933421-03-6 (1985-00-00)
  9. ? Organ. J. Rare Vegetables for Garden and Table. Faber (1960-00-00)
  10. ? Natural Food Institute, Wonder Crops. 1987. ()
  11. ? Harrison. S. Wallis. M. Masefield. G. The Oxford Book of Food Plants. Oxford University Press (1975-00-00)
  12. ? ? Flora Europaea Cambridge University Press (1964-00-00)
  13. ? Fernald. M. L. Gray's Manual of Botany. American Book Co. (1950-00-00)