Ground Cherry
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Ground Cherry
ntroduced Photo: S. Kasim
Common name: Ground Cherry, Sun berry • Hindi: रसभरी Rasbhari, Ban Tipariya, Chirpati • Manipuri: ꯃꯣꯔꯣꯛ ꯄꯣꯛꯂꯥꯑꯣꯕꯤ Morok poklaobi • Marathi: Chirboti, Nanvachivel, रान पोपटी Ran-popti • Tamil: Kupanti • Malayalam: Notinotta • Telugu: Kupanti • Kannada: ಗಡ್ಡೆಹಣ್ಣು Gadde hannu, ಸಣ್ಣಬೊಂಡುಲ(ಳ) Sanna bondula ಸಣ್ಣಗುಪ್ಪಟೆ Sanna guppate • Bengali: Bantepariya • Gujarati: पोपटी Popti
Botanical name: Physalis lagascae    Family: Solanaceae (Potato family)
Synonyms: Physalis minima, Physalis micrantha, Physalis villosa

Ground Cherry is a popular fruit to pick and eat. The taste of the ripe berry is sweet and distinctive. The berries are ripe when the husk turns brown and the berry inside takes on a yellowish cast. This is a herbaceous plant which can reach 3 ft. It can be a perennial or an annual. The stem is branched and often reclining. The leaves are alternate. Leaves can reach 10cm in length. Each leaf is toothed or lobed. The flowers have 5 Regular Parts and are up to 2cm wide. They are greenish yellow sometimes brownish yellow. Blooms first appear in early summer and continue into late summer. The flowers hang from the stem. A berry hidden in a larger papery shell. The berry and shell are both green at first with the shell turning light brown and the berry taking on a yellow cast when ripe.
Medicinal uses: The plant has been used as a diuretic for various urinary problems. There seems to be no scientific data to support this. Its use for bladder problems may go back to the doctrine of signatures . Physalis is the Greek word for bladder.

Identification credit: S. Kasim Photographed in Palladam, Tamil Nadu.

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