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. 


  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!

  2. These look like horse nettle berries to me, and all parts of the plant are poisonous:
    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!

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


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