Thursday, December 20, 2012

Physalis crassifolia Benth.

Yellow Nightshade Ground Cherry

One our desert Nightshades, Physalis crassifolia is a relative of our domestic Tomatillo, and in fact, closely resembles it in fruit. However, unlike our domestic crop, this plant is poisonous, and is listed as a majorly toxic species by California Poison Control System.

P. crassifolia is a perennial herb that can become a sub-shrub under the right conditions. Flowering in mid spring to early summer, the flowers are typically Solanacious, forming a fused floral tube that is bright yellow in color. In fruit, the calyx forms a protective layer around the developing berry. The plants themselves are not large in size, being fairly low growing.

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