CLAMMY GROUND CHERRY
File Size: 60 KB
 
Physalis heterophylla  Nees
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 2-20 inches
Family: Solanaceae - Nightshade Family
Flowering Period:   May, June, July, August, September
Stems: Erect, simple to branched, more or less glandular-hairy.
Leaves: Alternate, simple, stalked, ovate to rhombic, 1.5 to 4 inches long, 1.5 to 2.5 inches wide, thick, glandular-hairy; margins irregularly wavy-toothed to entire; tips pointed.
Inflorescences: Solitary flowers, in leaf axils.
Flowers: Bell-shaped, 1/2 to 3/4 inch long, roughly as wide, on stalks to 3/5 inch long, droop at flowering; calyces 5-lobed, hairy; corollas shallowly 5-lobed, pale yellow; centers purple to brown; stamens 5, anthers yellow to purplish brown.
Fruits: Berries, spherical, to 1/2 inch in diameter, yellow, enclosed in inflated, papery calyx; seeds many, egg-shaped, pitted, pale yellow.
Habitat: Waste areas, prairies, thickets, disturbed sites, gardens, and roadsides, most abundant in sandy soils.
Distribution: East 2/3 of Kansas.
Toxicity: The unripe green fruits are poisonous.
Uses: The ripe, yellow fruits are edible and were used widely for food by Indians of the Great Plains. Native Americans used the roots to dress wounds and to make a tea that was taken for headaches and stomach ailments.
Comments: Several ground cherry species are found in Kansas.

Clammy ground cherry inflorescence
100 KB
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Clammy ground cherry calyx
63 KB
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Clammy ground cherry anthers
63 KB
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Clammy ground cherry leaves
135 KB
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas