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Cape gooseberry

Physalis peruviana

Peruvian groundberry, Goldenberry, Husk cherry, Poha berry(Eng.), Appelliefie (Afr)

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Closely related to the tomato & Chinese lantern, the Cape gooseberry grows beautifully smooth berries, each enclosed by a papery straw-coloured husk. The berries are sweet when ripe & are often enjoyed in salads or made into jams. The Cape gooseberries originate not from Southern Africa's Cape province, but from another Cape in South America!

Planning

Difficulty
Moderate
Flowering time
Summer, Spring
Fruiting time
Summer, Autumn

Harvesting

Fruits are usually hand-picked every 2-3 weeks during Summer to Autumn. A single plant may yield about 300 fruits!

Propagation

Seed
Plants are easily grown from seeds and should be sprouted in small containers using a standard potting mix that is well drained. Place the seeds just a few millimeters below the soil surface.

Special features

Attractive fruits
Bright orange-yellow fruit in a pretty husk that fades into a pretty pattern as the nerves stay and the rest disintegrate.
Hedge plant
Quick growing lower informal hedge.
Pot plant
Provide a large enough pot to host the cape gooseberry.

Geography

Origin
South America, Peru
Natural climate
Temperate

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Edible
Delicious berries

Personality

Family
Solanaceae
Flower colour
Light yellow with dark purple spots.
Scent
None

Problems

Pests include Cutworm, red spider & sometimes the potato tuber moth. Most common diseases are Powdery Mildew & Soft Brown Scale.

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