[NAFEX] Golden Berry (aka. Cape Gooseberry)

Kieran and Donna redherring at tnaccess.com
Thu Jul 6 15:53:57 EDT 2006

There are many many physalis species.  Some grow wild here, some will reseed
if we grow them once.  Tomatillo always volunteers in our garden, but there
is a caterpillar, looks like the tomato fruitworm or corn borer, that gets
all the early fruits.  I grew some Cape Gooseberry once, seems like it just
barely got in a crop of fruit before frost (Tennessee, z6).  I think Molly's
ground cherry may be this species, I tried it once in a spot of bad soil and
got very little fruit, but the plant was tall and non-fuzzy like the Cape
Gooseberry.  There are some non-edible physalis like the blue flowered
"shoofly plant" that showed up in a friends' garden in east TN.  If you were
that fond of the jam, you should try several species and make a batch from
each one.  I think you'll find that ripe tomatillos will give you a good
flavor too, there are very sweet.  The smaller purplish tomatillos are
tarter and might give a darker color.  I notice that Sandhill Preservation
was offering a darker purple tomatillo for a higher price than the common
purple 'Merida Market'.  (I went for the cheap one.)  Apart from that
wretched caterpillar and a few flea beetles bites, none of the physalis seem
to have any health problems in our garden.  Donna

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