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Husk tomatoes, tomatillos, ground cherries?

Posted by castorp z9 FL (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 20, 14 at 8:40

Has any one grown tomatillos? What about "Giant Ground Cherry" Physalis peruviana? Can you tell me about your experience? Are they easier than tomatoes? What variety did you grow?

I grew regular the "regular" ground cherry "Cossack Pineapple" Physalis pruinosa and loved the flavor. They were easy, almost no-care plants. But the second time I grew them a tiny worm bored into the husks and devoured nearly every last fruit. I suppose any Physalis would be vulnerable. But I'm willing to risk it and try new varieties.

The idea of tomatillos really appeals to me not only because I could use them green for salsas, etc, but because I want to harvest them ripe and enjoy them as I would a large ground cherry.

The "Giant Groundcherry" P. peruviana is supposedly longer lived. I wonder if this would be true in Florida?

I will probably post about this over on vegetables or maybe the tomatoes forum, but I would like to hear Florida experiences first.



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RE: Husk tomatoes, tomatillos, ground cherries?

  • Posted by whgille Oakland FL Zone 9B (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 20, 14 at 17:57

Hi Bill

I am very familiar with a lot of ground cherry varieties and I can tell the difference in the taste, some are better than others, some are easier too.
My aunt had a patch and they grew like weeds, no care and sometimes I would snack on them, not too often because she had the best fruits in her garden and so did I.:)
If you liked the Pineapple variety, you will like the others even more, there is one that grows very tall and I think is the Hawaiian one, others are bush and Derek from Tampa had a variety that was so hardy! and spread like ground cover, I did not get a name but it had different leaves also.
I sample few other varieties when at Monticello at the Harvest festival, one of the better ones was Aunt Molly.

The small yellow are different varieties of ground cherries

 photo Monticello_094.jpg

About the tomatillos, I grew Heirloom Purple and Toma Verde Green, very productive! and grew tall just like a tomato, they are somewhat easier but at the end of the season they get diseased with our humidity and also cannot take the freeze, I would start them in spring or if you are starting them now put them in a container, you will need support for them and move them when we get a freeze.

December tomatillos in a salsa

 photo December2012_176.jpg


RE: Husk tomatoes, tomatillos, ground cherries?

Thanks so much for the information, Silvia! I'm going to research the Hawaiian one, and the tomatillos too. I would love to find a good ground cherry that would survive as a perennial here--or some variety that would grow like weeds like the ones your aunt had!
These fruits are a new world to me.

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