Ground cherries (physalis)
Physalis includes very similar plants such as "ground cherries", "cape goseberries", "husk cherries", etc. etc. Most of these species are edible.
If you are not sure what I am talking about, these plants produce small berry-sized fruits inside a husk-like sheath, which have a sweet berry-like flavor (not at all like tomatoes, really, although sometimes described as "tomato-pineapple"). In short, the fruits are like tiny tomatillos, but taste very different from them.
Why am I posting about "ground cherries" on a TOMATO forum? Because they are solanaceae, and whenever I look up information on how to grow them, the information says "culture same as tomatoes". This is not exactly accurate, as I found out recently. I started a bunch of tomatoes and other plants including some physalis sold by Fedco as "husk cherry". The tomatoes came up in just four days (!!) inside a six-pack which was under a plastic dome in one of those covered plastic trays you can get at the nursery/hardware store, and kept in a bright window. The husk cherries took exactly TWO WEEKS on the dot to germinate in the same conditions (they all came up at the same time). We were wondering if our pack was full of duds, and even dug around in a couple of the cells to see if something was trying to push up in them, but didn't find anything. So, while it appears that I should have planted them a bit more shallowly than the tomato seeds, this shows that the culture of tomatoes and these plants is in fact not exactly the same- the husk cherries definitely take longer to germinate.
The seedlings are tiny- I don't even see true leaves yet, but they seem healthy enough. They are like 1/10 scale tomato seedlings at this point.
So has anyone else grown them? Are there any other surprises or information I need to know about? We were planning on planting them at the edge of the plot in the places not good enough for the "real" crops- is it correct that these things are tough enough to stand some abuse?