Vegetables and Fruit forum: For those of you asking about ground cherries

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Name: Robyn
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
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robynanne
Aug 24, 2016 6:20 AM CST
I didn't buy seeds, so I don't know which kind I'm growing, but my mom bought ground cherries at her local farmers market so I knew they could grow here. I saved seeds from some of those ground cherries. I started the seeds inside with no grow light in April and these spindly tiny things came up and got super leggy but the leaves never got bigger. Starting inside was a huge fail. Grow light would've worked I bet.

I put some seeds in the ground where I planned to grow them, I had tiny cages set up for them. The seeds sprouted and grew nice leaves on shorter stems, very hardy. I dug up one sprout and replanted it a little further away so I let two plants grow.

Thumb of 2016-08-24/robynanne/dcc1c8

A little after that, I saw something called "golden berries" in the grocery store and they reminded me of ground cherries. I looked it up and they are related. I planted some seeds of that and started a golden berry plant. That one sprouted about the same, though it was started so late, I don't have berries yet.
All the plants grew

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The golden berry grows straight up more or less, and uses the cage. The ground cherries sprawl and don't need the support, though I use it to tie branches out of the way because it is in the walkway. I didn't give them nearly enough room.

Thumb of 2016-08-24/robynanne/71a4b6
They grow a ton of fruit! They just yellow as the husk gets dry and fall to the ground. You pick them up, unwrap and enjoy.
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The golden berry plant has just started making fruit. You can see the husk on those has the purple all through it, unlike the ground cherries which are solid green. I can't wait to see what the full, ripe husk is like. Here is a golden berry flower:
Thumb of 2016-08-24/robynanne/844dbe

Ground cherry harvest:




Name: Thomas
Deep East Texas (Zone 8a)
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Thomas75
Aug 24, 2016 8:38 AM CST
I guess I will have to add some of those to my small garden come Spring, thanks for sharing.
Thomas75
Name: Rick Corey
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RickCorey
Aug 24, 2016 11:06 AM CST
Thanks!
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Aug 24, 2016 3:21 PM CST
Hi. Robyn 😎
Got my seed catalog dogeared 4 ground cherries allready. I planted purple tomatillos direct on april 3rd. Leafs look like your pic. With da small leaves. Dont taste like tomatillos. Kind of sweet an tart. 8foot tall.but not big producers.only a few so far.i just wonder if there same as yours! In johnnysseed cat. They have some called goldie.says dar prolific.sweet an a little wild taste. Eat em raw.dried like raisins.frozen.canned.4 preserves.cooked pies.and desserts !? If mine start doin much im gonna try dryin some !!!


Thumb of 2016-08-24/Philipwonel/ea117e
Sticky little devil's. Are yours ?
Now ! You got me wonderin how to
dry em 😕!!! You.u.u.u! Troublemaker !
Ohs swells ! Watch out Google !!!! Hears eyes comes#!!! 😎😎😎 Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Ttfn !
Name: Robyn
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
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robynanne
Aug 24, 2016 3:27 PM CST
Philipwonel said:Hi. Robyn 😎
Got my seed catalog dogeared 4 ground cherries allready. I planted purple tomatillos direct on april 3rd. Leafs look like your pic. With da small leaves. Dont taste like tomatillos. Kind of sweet an tart. 8foot tall.but not big producers.only a few so far.i just wonder if there same as yours! In johnnysseed cat. They have some called goldie.says dar prolific.sweet an a little wild taste. Eat em raw.dried like raisins.frozen.canned.4 preserves.cooked pies.and desserts !? If mine start doin much im gonna try dryin some !!!


Thumb of 2016-08-24/Philipwonel/ea117e
Sticky little devil's. Are yours ?
Now ! You got me wonderin how to
dry em 😕!!! You.u.u.u! Troublemaker !
Ohs swells ! Watch out Google !!!! Hears eyes comes#!!! 😎😎😎 Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Ttfn !


Wow, those look interesting! Mine are a kind of gold/orange color when ripe. They start out green like tomatoes. I should get a picture up of what the berry itself looks like. Yes, tomatillos are related as well. They are all related to tomatoes, potatoes and peppers. In fact, the colorado potato beetle gave my little ground cherries a bit of an issue this summer even though they largely ignored my potatoes and tomatoes. They just really preferred the ground cherries. I picked off the adults and checked for eggs now and then, it wasn't too bad.
Name: Robyn
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
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robynanne
Aug 24, 2016 4:58 PM CST
Here's a picture of an immature golden berry pod. Note the purple lines in the pod that the ground cherries don't have.


I'll come back with a picture of a ground cherry berry.
Name: Robyn
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
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robynanne
Aug 24, 2016 6:21 PM CST

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Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
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ediblelandscapingsc
Aug 24, 2016 6:25 PM CST
Philip that's not a ground cherry that's a tomatillo
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Name: Cinda
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gardengus
Aug 27, 2016 7:59 PM CST
Just tasted these for the first time last week at the farmers market .
They were interesting
I may try some next year.
Wish I had the forethought to save some seeds. D'Oh!
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all else is just existing.
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
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ctcarol
Aug 30, 2016 5:50 PM CST
I had to look this up to see if it was a "common name" issue. It's not! Tomatillos and ground cherries are two different types of Physalis .

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jeffphx
Sep 1, 2016 11:19 AM CST
Are ground cherries the same thing as what they sell at grocery stores called "Golden Berries"?

If so, I should try growing them. I love their tart and slightly sweet taste.

And they're rather expensive at the grocery stores.


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Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
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ediblelandscapingsc
Sep 1, 2016 11:26 AM CST
Yes they are the same, that's just a name used for marketing them.
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Name: Robyn
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
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robynanne
Sep 1, 2016 11:28 AM CST
jeffphx said:Are ground cherries the same thing as what they sell at grocery stores called "Golden Berries"?

If so, I should try growing them. I love their tart and slightly sweet taste.

And they're rather expensive at the grocery stores.


Thumb of 2016-09-01/jeffphx/414aeb


Thumb of 2016-09-01/jeffphx/29db0d



Not quite. Same family. Golden berries are also sometimes called cape gooseberries. The plant it very similar and the berries ripen in a husk to a golden orange color. Golden berries are a little bigger and just a little less sweet. The plant, at least the one I'm growing, is less sprawly and works better with a small tomato cage. The stems aren't as pin striped as ground cherries and the leaves and stems are fuzzier.

[Last edited by robynanne - Sep 1, 2016 11:37 AM (+)]
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Name: Robyn
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
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robynanne
Sep 1, 2016 11:36 AM CST
ediblelandscapingsc said:Yes they are the same, that's just a name used for marketing them.


here's a ground cherry husk growing:

Thumb of 2016-09-01/robynanne/b580ad

The husk is solid green and the flowers have yellow on the outside and a purple ring on the inside. The stems are heavily striped. The husks dry to a solid creamy tan.

Here's a golden berry husk growing:
Thumb of 2016-09-01/robynanne/9aefc6

And the flowers:
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The flowers have the purple ring on the inside and the purple extends in the crease to the end of the flower. The resulting husk has the purple all the way through it. The plant is more upright and sprawls less, and the stems have a less obvious striped pattern. (That picture above has a ground cherry stem tied out of the way right next to the golden berry stem and you can see the difference.) The leaves are MUCH fuzzier and often look silver in the mornings compared with the ground cherries leaves.

Their tastes are similar, but ground cherries have a more sweet/tart taste while golden berries have a more complex and interesting flavor, though still tart/sweet. I've never had them dried like raisins though. Golden berries can also be called 'cape gooseberries'.
Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
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ediblelandscapingsc
Sep 1, 2016 11:42 AM CST
Thanks do you know the 2 different Physalis species names? I've heard ground cherries also be called cape gooseberries.
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Name: Robyn
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
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robynanne
Sep 1, 2016 12:00 PM CST
ediblelandscapingsc said:Thanks do you know the 2 different Physalis species names? I've heard ground cherries also be called cape gooseberries.


Well, a lot of the Physalis plants have 'groundcherry' in the name. Interestingly, the golden berry - physalis peruviana - is one of the few that typically doesn't. (Although a rare name is peruvian groundcherry - or Inca berry)

The typical ground cherry that we mostly know - the kind sold under the seed name "Aunt Molly" are Physalis Pruinosa.

Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
Permaculture Sempervivums Hybridizer Xeriscape Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
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ediblelandscapingsc
Sep 1, 2016 12:08 PM CST
Thanks Robyn Thumbs up You learn something new everyday!!
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Name: Robyn
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
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robynanne
Sep 1, 2016 12:31 PM CST
ediblelandscapingsc said:Thanks Robyn Thumbs up You learn something new everyday!!


I've been trying to look up a diagram of the family tree, it would be interesting to see. I know they are close enough to the potato plant that the Colorado potato beetle was more focused on my ground cherries than the potatoes. As the summer nears end, the ground cherry leaves have yellowed and gotten a little ragged in places. I'm not sure if that is something like tomato blight or just general age. . Or maybe a call for more fertilizer. They keep producing at an incredible rate though so I'm not too worried. I just hope that golden berry gets mature enough to give me viable seeds before frost.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Sep 1, 2016 2:00 PM CST
Robyn, how are you using the ground cherries? Fresh eating, or did you preserve some. My neighbor when I was a kid, used to can them in a light syrup. They were good that way. Maybe they would be good dried too. I haven't grown them in years.
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Name: Robyn
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
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robynanne
Sep 1, 2016 2:13 PM CST
With just two plants, we haven't had enough to try anything to preserve them. Production just now is getting up to maybe 10-15 cherries per day so we may end up with enough soon. I haven't done any canning other than we recently pickled some zucchini and that was really good! I would like to try making some ground cherry jam.. or maybe as pie filling? They are OH so good just raw though. I toss about 4 of them in with my lunch each day Smiling The bowl is out in the kitchen and we all just eat them whenever we walk in. I think I might have to hide the bowl if I want enough to preserve. :)

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