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hairy ground-cherry, husk tomato

Habit Herbs annual, taprooted, ± glabrous to villous, hairs simple, jointed, glandular and eglandular, of varying lengths, all shorter than 0.5 mm, plants from southwestern United States all glandular, green in appearance when dry.

erect, branching at most nodes, branches spreading, 0.5–8 dm.



petiole 1/5 to as long as blade;

blade broadly ovate to orbiculate, (1.6–)2.5–8(–9.5) × (1–)2–7 cm, base rounded to slightly cordate, margins entire or coarsely dentate, teeth fewer than 8 per side.


slender, 3.5–9 mm, 5–15 mm in fruit.


calyx 3–6(–7) mm, lobes 1–3.5 mm;

corolla yellow with 5 large, dark purple-brown-black spots, campanulate-rotate, 6–11 mm;

anthers blue, rarely yellow or blue-tinged, not twisted after dehiscence, 1–2 mm.

Fruiting calyces

loosely enclosing berry, sharply 5-angled, 20–35 × 15–25(–30) mm, always noticeably longer than wide.


= 24.

Physalis pubescens

Phenology Flowering year-round in areas without frost, mostly May–Oct.
Habitat Low woods, edges of swamps, stream banks, floodplains, hammocks, disturbed habitats.
Elevation 0–900 m. (0–3000 ft.)
from FNA
AL; AR; AZ; CA; DC; FL; GA; IA; IL; IN; KS; KY; LA; MD; MI; MO; MS; NC; NJ; NM; OH; OK; PA; SC; TN; TX; UT; VA; WI; WV; Mexico; Central America; South America; West Indies [Introduced in Australia]
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[BONAP county map]

Fresh plants of Physalis pubescens reportedly have a strong fetid odor (M. Martínez 1998). This widespread species exhibits considerable variability in the character of the leaf margins and degree of indument. The fruits of P. pubescens are reportedly gathered for food.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 14.
Parent taxa Solanaceae > Physalis
Sibling taxa
P. acutifolia, P. angulata, P. angustifolia, P. arenicola, P. caudella, P. cinerascens, P. cordata, P. crassifolia, P. fendleri, P. grisea, P. hederifolia, P. heterophylla, P. lanceolata, P. longifolia, P. missouriensis, P. mollis, P. neomexicana, P. philadelphica, P. pumila, P. solanacea, P. virginiana, P. walteri, P. ×elliottii
Synonyms P. barbadensis, P. barbadensis var. glabra, P. floridana, P. latiphysa, P. pubescens var. glabra, P. pubescens var. integrifolia, P. turbinata
Name authority Linnaeus: Sp. Pl. 1: 183. (1753)
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