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Plant Identification: SOLVED: Unknown plant looks like a tiny tomatillo

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Forum: Plant IdentificationReplies: 14, Views: 182
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sevidra
Rockaway, NJ
(Zone 6a)

November 6, 2007
11:53 PM

Post #4165411

I have no idea what this is. It was found wandering into a vegetable garden. There are a lot of them, and the place was taken over by weeds - so if it's not a weed, it's sure able to push its way in with them!

I've put up pics of the 'seeds' we picked up. The plant itself I didn't manage to get pictures of yet (might be able to in the next few days, when I go back there). They look a lot like tomatillo, but there's no leaf around the little berry thing. The little berry is the size of my thumbnail, the entire pod isn't much bigger than the pad at the base of one of my fingers. Maybe a total of one inch long on the pod bit, from stem to point.

I'd like to find out what it is, and if the berries are edible - without trying them myself to find out!

-Sev

Thumbnail by sevidra
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ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

November 7, 2007
12:01 AM

Post #4165445

Looks like some sort of Physalis, not sure which one though http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/adv_search.php?searcher[common]=&searcher[family]=&searcher[genus]=physalis&searcher[species]=&searcher[cultivar]=&searcher[hybridizer]=&search_prefs[blank_cultivar]=&search_prefs[sort_by]=rating&images_prefs=both&Search=Search
silkiechick
Reynoldsville, PA
(Zone 6a)

November 8, 2007
6:38 AM

Post #4170446

if it's a tomatillo, the only part i know for sure is poisonous is the husk part of it. not sure if anything else on it is. what do the seeds look like? i have tomi seeds here i can tell you if they are similar. i'd have to have dh look at ur pic to see if he knows which it is i don't know the difference in them and ground cherries and such. he should know i'll ask him tomarrow. what does the plant look like?
silkie

trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

November 8, 2007
2:18 PM

Post #4171056

i think that's something in the nightshade family.
sevidra
Rockaway, NJ
(Zone 6a)

November 9, 2007
6:51 PM

Post #4175968

The plants look... well, kind of like miniature trees. One main stalk, branching into 2-4 stalks, which each branch... and so on. The leaves are shaped like rose leaves, a bit.

Sorry for the unproffesional terminology but I don't know what to call this stuff yet.

The berries are orangey-greeney, and have a VERY similar look to those cape gooseberries, except they're more green than orange. They're very soft to the touch, they feel juicy.

I'll be going out there again this weekend, so I can take more pictures. I'll gather up the ones I can find, to see - if they're edible, I'm going to PLANT them next year lol

-Sev
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

November 9, 2007
8:25 PM

Post #4176217

It might help if you could post a picture of the rest of the plant--leaves, etc. It's definitely in the Physalis genus (which includes tomatillos and cape gooseberries among other things) but to figure out which one it might be helpful to see more of the plant.
sevidra
Rockaway, NJ
(Zone 6a)

November 11, 2007
12:31 AM

Post #4180165

Okay, got new piccies today.

Unfortunately, frost has gotten them all, and like any plant in that family, they've wilted and gone all squishy. But I brought home what I could find. They really do look like ground cherry type things, but as you can see from the photo, they're _upright_. Not viney at all.

Here's the photo list - will post them all.

-Sev

Picture of the entire plant of one I got the whole thing from. Not a lot left of it, after frost, but this is what it looks like as it stands in the ground, essentially.

Thumbnail by sevidra
Click the image for an enlarged view.

sevidra
Rockaway, NJ
(Zone 6a)

November 11, 2007
12:32 AM

Post #4180169

A picture of one branch with a couple stages of berry/husk on it. There's a berry on the table under it, out of the husk, to show it.

Thumbnail by sevidra
Click the image for an enlarged view.

sevidra
Rockaway, NJ
(Zone 6a)

November 11, 2007
12:32 AM

Post #4180171

Another single branch, to show leaves and whatever else I could.

Thumbnail by sevidra
Click the image for an enlarged view.

sevidra
Rockaway, NJ
(Zone 6a)

November 11, 2007
12:34 AM

Post #4180176

A ziploc baggie full of berries. This shows the range of colors they come in - most of them were 'ripe' - that is, off the branch or nearly so, with husk going away and easy to remove.

They smell so good they make my mouth water when I put my nose in the bag - if these things aren't edible I'll be surprised!

-Sev

Thumbnail by sevidra
Click the image for an enlarged view.

ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

November 11, 2007
12:50 AM

Post #4180268

I'd be careful eating them unless someone can give you an absolute 100% positive ID--they're in Solanaceae family and in that family the things tend to be either edible or really poisonous. I don't know the Physalis genus well enough to know if all of them are edible or not.
sevidra
Rockaway, NJ
(Zone 6a)

November 11, 2007
12:58 AM

Post #4180299

Yeah, that's why I'm waiting. I gave a plant or two to the produce folks at my Pathmark. The manager's coming in tomorrow morning, supposed to give me a call. Hopefully he can help. Still trying here, though, too! :)

-Sev

trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

November 11, 2007
1:05 PM

Post #4181497

when i said nightshade family, i was thinking of ground cherry. my mind had a glitch in it. lol do not eat them, please, unless the person doing your id is totally reputable and even then, i wouldn't.
Farmerdill
Augusta, GA
(Zone 8a)


November 11, 2007
1:20 PM

Post #4181516

Looks and your definition of habits fit the Virginia Ground Cherry http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/74360/. It is a weed throughout most of the mid-Atlantic region. While it is edible, it is pretty tastless. Self seed readily and pops up in any cultivated plot. There are several other versions of the ground cherry and most folks get them all confused. Those include Physalis pruinosa and Physalis peruviana which are edible, most of the others are not. http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/adv_search.php?searcher[common]=ground cherry&searcher[family]=&searcher[genus]=&searcher[species]=&searcher[cultivar]=&searcher[hybridizer]=&search_prefs[blank_cultivar]=&search_prefs[sort_by]=rating&images_prefs=both&Search=Search
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

November 11, 2007
4:12 PM

Post #4181958

Ground cherries are in the nightshade family

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