Monday, December 2, 2013

Ground Cherries or Horse Nettle

There were still a few of these around in November, here and there among the dying weeds.  The very cold temps we got a week or so ago did most of them in.  I believe they are ground cherries.  I remember eating them as a kid, but haven't done so in decades.  They are a Physalis, related to tomatoes. 

Chime in if you know anything about these.   I'd love to know more.

UPDATE 12/5/13:   Thanks to reader C Helms, we have another option for these berries.   They look an awful lot like Horse Nettle, Solanum carolinense.  No husk.

The big difference seems to be that the physalis ground cherries have a husk that looks a lot like a paper lantern.   Horse nettles are often thorny - and they have varying levels of toxicity, so be careful before eating any. 

3 comments:

  1. I don't know anything about these, but noticed them on a recent hike and wondered if they were edible, since they looked very much like a tomato. My hubby prevented me... since we are trying to stay healthy over the holidays. Very interesting!

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  2. These look like horse nettle berries to me, and all parts of the plant are poisonous:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carolina_Horsenettle
    The horsenettle berries persist well into winter.
    If you see any little thorns on stems associated with the berries, it's definitely not a ground cherry!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks!! I've updated the post with your information!

      Delete

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