New to list - gooseberries

brugpuppy(9)October 3, 2003

Oh wow!

I just found this list and I am amazed! I am so pleased to find this. I am a born and raised South African but have been living in Canada for the past 25 years!

I am also new to more serious gardening, and have been trying to find South African plants. I must be suffering from nostalgia and missing the fynbos :-)

I have a gloriosa lily just done flowering for the first time. Two little redish flowers nothing like I remember as a kid, which were brilliant red and yellow and grew 7' high!

My passiflora is blooming, and I never thought I would actually like these plants for anything but the fruit. Now I can't find an edible passion fruit seed anywhere!

I tried a strelitzia seed, but after watching it now for over a year I think it will never grow. Besides I am told that they only flower from seed in about 7 years - I doubt I have that kind of patience, even if I make another 7 years!

Okay, we found gem squash at a local fruit stand and I saved the seed and have been growing gems very successfully. I had forgotten how good they were!

what else? Oh yes what I am writing mostly for, is our sudden craving for the real SA gooseberries! We have gooseberries here in Canada, but they are not the real McCoy. We want those that look like tomatilloes with the papery covering on them. Does anyone know where I can get this seed please?

Is it possible to import seeds of some native plants such as proteas? Would anyone know where to obtain catalogs?

Baie Dankie :-)


Here is a link that might be useful: crisandi samoyeds

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paquebot(Z-4b WI)

The berry that you are looking for is Cape Gooseberry but called Ground Cherry over here. Most US seed companies carry the seed. I'm not certain who might have it in Canada. If you can't locate any commercial source up there, I may have a few billion seeds under my plants!


    Bookmark   October 4, 2003 at 7:56PM
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modjadje(Willamette Valley Zone 8)

Hallo Chris, nice to meet another expatriate here in our forum ... and, like me, hankering for a slice of appelliefietert. I have seeds of Kaapse appelliefie and will gladly send you some. Warning though, I have had very little fruit off mine as they need a longer summer to ripen. They have survived the cold winters by coming back from the roots, but the fruit set is then too late in the season. Perhaps you can grow yours indoors or in a greenhouse?
Back in Port Elizabeth mine used to grow like weeds and we would be picking fruit off them all the time for appelliefietert. Remember how one could also buy the fruit canned, naturally, in its own juice? Would give an oogtand for one of those!
Groete uit Oregon, Delina
P.S. My seeds were sent to me from South Africa.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2003 at 2:39PM
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modjadje(Willamette Valley Zone 8)

Chris, forgot to address the last part of your query, namely how to obtain seeds of South African natives. I have gotten most of mine from Silverhill Seeds, and so have many posters on this forum. They are very easy to deal with. Do a search for Silverhill Seeds on this forum, and you will find several posts referring to them. If you have time, catch up by reading the older posts on our forum, there is not that many yet that any have fallen off the board.
And by the way, I used to think (like you) that appelliefies are S.A. natives, just because they grow so happily and widespread there, and even became a part of the food culture ... but they are actually Physalis peruviana. Silverhill Seeds actually bought some cape gooseberries at their local supermarket and dried the seeds to send to me ... yes, they go out of their way to be helpful.
I am providing you a link to their website below. They also sell books related to S.A. plants and gardening, and will mail you a hard copy catalog if you request it.
Mooi loop! Delina

Here is a link that might be useful: Silverhill Seeds and Books

    Bookmark   October 5, 2003 at 5:13PM
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Thanks for the replies! I would love to get some seeds please.
I did a little research on the net, and now I am really confused. The Cape Goosberry, or ground cherry is listed as a poisonous plant! I had been eating poison for the first 20 years of my life! I even fed them to my kids!
is one of the pages I went to.

anyhow, I have a little grennhouse which is kept at 10 degrees C all winter, and I intend to start the seeds in there. This winter we will be building a cool greenhouse 16' x 30' and I hope to raise the berries, poisonous or not, in tubs in the greenhouse as well as try them in the garden mulching them in winter. If I can grow a fig tree, even without fruit, in Canada, I figure a few gooseberries should be okay.

So Please, yes, I would love to get some seeds. Please let me know what you would like in trade... check out my trade list, but I have never traded to the States before, as I had heard it was virtually impossible for seeds to cross the line, but it is okay for seeds entering Canada. I can send a SASE along with more than enough for postage.

many thanks,


BTW I am originally from Johannesburg, moved to Hankey, had parents with a little retirement cottage in Jeffreys Bay. I miss South Africa so very, very much, it's plants, traditions, golden beaches, the weather, but I love Canada!

Here is a link that might be useful: gooseberries

    Bookmark   October 6, 2003 at 12:51PM
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modjadje(Willamette Valley Zone 8)

Chris, follow the link below to more good info on the Cape gooseberry. I see that it is also known as Physalis edulis. Says it may be poisonous when green ... well, it is related to nightshade, being in the Solanacea family.
I did once buy seeds here in the US of a plant labeled "ground cherry" but i think it was the poha ... yuck.
I am sending you a private email. Delina

    Bookmark   October 6, 2003 at 9:30PM
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