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Old September 30, 2009   #1
barkeater
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Default Cape Gooseberries

Just to add another wrinkle into the different physalis, does anyone know the difference between cape gooseberries (physalis peru-something) and ground cherry/husk tomatoes? I realize this is a tomatillo forum, which look different from all of the above, but I need to know.

Now is peak season for ground cherry/husk tomatoes which are native to the NE, and are coming across from Canada. These are allowed, but the Cape Gooseberry is not grown in Canada, and are prohibited entry into the US. I googled it, and I think the Cape Gooseberry is supposed to be much larger than the marble sized husk tomato, more like a large cherry tomato. Does anyone know for sure? Thanks.
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Old October 12, 2009   #2
Mischka
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I have cape gooseberries growing here behind the stone wall that holds back a little pond on the premises. I got the seeds from Unwin's a few years ago and they seem to be self-seeding or perennial; not sure which.

The size of the fruits are about the size of one of those big marbles that my grandfather called "aggies". I'm not a big fan of eating them raw, but my cousin's wife made jam from them and it was quite good.
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Old October 23, 2009   #3
Medbury Gardens
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I always thought that ground cherries/cape gooseberry/husk tomatoes where just different names for the same fruit.

Mischka-they are a perennial but a short lived perennial of about 4 years in frost free areas
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Old December 14, 2009   #4
kd3
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Hi there, I am late to this thread but I grew Ground Cherries (Physalis Pruinosa I believe), Cape Gooseberries (Physalis Peruviana I believe) and Pineapple Tomatillos (P. Ixocarpa) this past year. The Cape Gooseberries were the largest, as Mishka posted, about the size of a large old fashioned marble, and the Pineapple tomatillos were the smallest, but very prolific and compared to the other two they matured in our cold, wet conditions, very sweet & well worth growing. The Cape Gooseberries & Ground Cherries produced a great deal of fruit but few matured before the season ended. I've ordered a few different varieties to trial for next year. kd
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Old December 14, 2009   #5
Medbury Gardens
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Now i'm confused because when you Google both "Physalis Pruinosa"and "Physalis Peruviana", the Wiki pages show it as both being Cape Gooseberries with the same photo.
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Old December 15, 2009   #6
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Here's a little more info from USDA

http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs...axon.pl?102390

and some pics of various types - had no idea all this info was available
http://botany.csdl.tamu.edu/FLORA/cg...ery?q=Physalis
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Old December 15, 2009   #7
kd3
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Medbury,
I am not sure if the taxomy of the various physalis is certain, I did a lot of research last spring when deciding what to grow, and ended up growing a few things I thought might turn out to be roughly the same.

However, the three I grew (Ground Cherry P Pruinosa, Dwarf Cape Gooseberry aka Golden Berry P Peruviana, and Pineapple Tomatillo) all resulted in different fruit size / plant variety. Let me see what I saved and I will send it to you in a few days, I know it was a bit confusing at the time and I did not come away with a definite understanding of the differences between the various genus/species, but I do have pineapple tomatillo seeds if you would like to try them :-)) Kd
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Old December 15, 2009   #8
Medbury Gardens
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Thanks for the info both of you and thanks for the offer of some seed kd3,makes me wonder now which one i grow every year,the fruit is about the size of a small marble.
Was there any taste difference?
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Old December 15, 2009   #9
kd3
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Medbury,
I responded to your pm, but for the discussion:
-Pineapple Tomatillo (P Ixocarpa) - small marble size quite small
-Ground Cherry (P Pruinosa) - small marble size quite small
-Cape Gooseberry (P Peruviana) - larger marble size

I cannot comment on taste variation as only the Pineapple tomatillo matured, but I will certainly grow them all out again, as the Pineapple tomatillos were very nice sweet, tropical flavour. kd
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Old December 16, 2009   #10
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Here is a site that does note a slight taste difference in the two - and has pics of those and more ... (scroll down to Physalis on left side column)

http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/cape_gooseberry.htm

http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/ground_cherry.htm
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Old December 16, 2009   #11
Medbury Gardens
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gees there's not a lot of difference there alright, in the descriptions of both of them it said they grow to between 1 to 3 feet,last season i grew 10 plants that climbed up over a vertically stacked of row plum tree branches tied together,by the end of the season they where over head height along with more fruit that i, three kids and all there mates could gorge out on,and still wouldn't have got half the fruit.
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Old December 17, 2009   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kd3 View Post
Medbury,
I responded to your pm, but for the discussion:
-Pineapple Tomatillo (P Ixocarpa) - small marble size quite small
-Ground Cherry (P Pruinosa) - small marble size quite small
-Cape Gooseberry (P Peruviana) - larger marble size

I cannot comment on taste variation as only the Pineapple tomatillo matured, but I will certainly grow them all out again, as the Pineapple tomatillos were very nice sweet, tropical flavour. kd
I am surprised that the cape gooseberry did not ripen for you. Mine were golf ball to racket ball sized, yellow, and I started getting mature fruits in 60 days. I had a crappy cold summer too with an early freeze. If for whatever reason mine are an early enough maturing one I am happy to share seeds with you. I got my seeds from Baker Creek and I saved a ton of seeds.

These things keep forever on the counter at room temperature. I have one I picked in August still sitting on my window sill. Still as firm as the day I picked it up. (you dont actually pick them, you wait until they fall to the ground)

Tom
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Old December 17, 2009   #13
kd3
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Tom,
Wow! No I had nothing over the size of a large marble, certainly not raquetball size. I started all the varieties indoors quite early, and had no mature fruit until mid August, and then only the pineapple tomatillos, however, similar to your variety, they keep at room temperature seemingly indefinitely :-)) I am in Ontario, but I am guessing we had similar seasons.

I will have to check my seed sources, I know I used Baker Creek & Solana Seeds for the various garden berries, I will pm once I sort through what I have. Maybe I will have something you would like to try, I trialed Green Berries, Miltomate, and a few others this year aswell, the season simply did not support them ... but there always hope for next year :-)) kd
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Old December 18, 2009   #14
darwinslair
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kd3 View Post
Tom,
Wow! No I had nothing over the size of a large marble, certainly not raquetball size. I started all the varieties indoors quite early, and had no mature fruit until mid August, and then only the pineapple tomatillos, however, similar to your variety, they keep at room temperature seemingly indefinitely :-)) I am in Ontario, but I am guessing we had similar seasons.

I will have to check my seed sources, I know I used Baker Creek & Solana Seeds for the various garden berries, I will pm once I sort through what I have. Maybe I will have something you would like to try, I trialed Green Berries, Miltomate, and a few others this year aswell, the season simply did not support them ... but there always hope for next year :-)) kd
PM me. Always looking for really short season things. And I have a lot already as well if you are looking for anything that will make it in three cool months <smile>

Tom
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Old December 18, 2009   #15
kd3
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Tom - "Three Cool Months" :-)) That is the rub isn't it? Some things I am going to do in pots this year, I know Tzimbalo & Litchi Tomato would likely have yielded ripe fruit or more ripe fruit if I could have moved them into the sunroom. I will pm you in the New Year. Kd
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