Description: Summer-growing annuals, rhizomatous perennials or short-lived shrubs, glabrous or hairy with simple, forked or glandular hairs.
Leaves alternate, 1 or 2 per node (but not opposite), simple, margins entire, toothed or lobed; petiolate.
Flowers solitary in leaf-axils and branch forks, bisexual, actinomorphic. Calyx tubular to campanulate, 5-lobed. Corolla broad-campanulate to rotate, mostly yellow, often with dark spots towards the base; tube short; limb expanded, shallowly 5-lobed. Stamens 5 equal, inserted towards base of corolla tube; anthers 2-locular, basifixed, dehiscing by longitudinal slits. Ovary 2-locular.
Fruit ± globose berry enclosed by inflated calyx.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 100 species, chiefly North & South America, some in Asia. Australia: 8 species (1 species probably native, 7 species naturalized), all States.
Text by B. J. Conn
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Herbaceous perennials with rhizomatous rootstock; indumentum of simple or forked non-glandular hairs, or glabrescent||2|
|Annuals or short-lived perennials; indumentum sparse to dense, of glandular or simple (never forked) non-glandular hairs, or glabrous||3|
|2||Indumentum including some minute forked hairs; leaves narrow-ovate, margins usually sinuate or toothed||Physalis hederifolia|
|Indumentum of simple hairs only; leaves elliptic, margins entire or with a few indistinct lobes|
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|3||Plants obviously pubescent, hirsute or pilose with erect, glandular or simple non-glandular hairs; corolla conspicuously spotted||4|
|Plants sparsely hairy with erect or appressed, simple, non-glandular hairs, or becoming glabrescent; corolla marked with inconspicuous blotches|
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|4||Annual; fruiting calyx 17–22 mm long; corolla 6–8 mm long; hairs ± sticky||Physalis pubescens |
|Short-lived shrub; fruiting calyx 30–40 mm long; corolla 10–15 mm long; hairs not sticky|
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|Physalis peruviana |
|5||Anthers 3–4 mm long, becoming twisted; flowers bright yellow; berries mostly 17–30 mm diam||Physalis philadelphica|
|Anthers 2–2.5 mm long, straight; flowers dull yellow; berries usually 8–15 mm diam|
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|6||Leaves narrow-elliptic; pedicels usually 20–30 mm long||Physalis lanceifolia|
|Leaves narrow-ovate; pedicels usually 5–25 mm long|
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|7||Pedicel 5–10 mm long; style 2–2.5 mm long; fruiting calyx circular in section||Physalis ixocarpa|
|Pedicel usually 20–25 mm long; style 4–5 mm long; fruiting calyx angular in section|
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