Physalis Species, Mexican Husk Tomato, Miltomate, Tomatillo

Physalis philadelphica subsp. ixocarpa

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Physalis (fy-SAL-is) (Info)
Species: philadelphica subsp. ixocarpa
Synonym:Physalis ixocarpa
View this plant in a garden


Edible Fruits and Nuts


Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Late Fall/Early Winter

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing

Ferment seeds before storing


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Fairfield, California

San Diego, California(2 reports)

San Marcos, California

Santa Cruz, California

Aurora, Colorado

Citra, Florida

Sebastian, Florida

Winter Park, Florida

Athens, Georgia

Linthicum Heights, Maryland

Kansas City, Missouri

Columbus, Ohio

Laurelville, Ohio

Alsea, Oregon

Seven Valleys, Pennsylvania

Austin, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Houston, Texas

Mcallen, Texas

Mission, Texas(2 reports)

Red Oak, Texas

Round Rock, Texas

Santa Fe, Texas

Spicewood, Texas

Spring Branch, Texas

Hanover, Virginia

Lexington, Virginia

Pardeeville, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 10, 2020, stephenp from Wirral, UK, Zone 9a,
United Kingdom (Zone 9a) wrote:

Last year I was growing this in England (near Liverpool) as an edible crop on the allotment. Sadly during a windstorm it was snapped and I lost all the ripening fruits. I was absolutely gutted. However I wondered if this plant could behave as a herbaceous perennial maybe and return after winter.

A few days ago I noticed some new growth from the stem, and also some new growth coming up from below ground. It seems therefore it might be a little hardier than -1C. The place where it was this year hit around -3C although the plant was mulched.

Anyway it looks like I'll get a second crack at this one.


On Mar 14, 2012, SugarSnapMama from Columbus, OH wrote:

Tomatillos are a MUST GROW in my zone 5b garden every year. There's no other veg that is going to give you the unique flavor that a Tomatillo will give you. Especially in red salsas as a "secret" ingredient. People will chase you down to figure out why your salsa is better than any other they've tasted. ;-) They are essential in Salsa Verde', which is awesome on steak, in green enchiladas, burritos- you name it. They're also just darn good eaten raw in salads.
They have a sticky residue on them when you pick them. I've never used soap to get that off as some suggest. It washes off easily with cold water. The residue gives them a weird smell which totally disappears with the residue.
I've never had any real pest issues with Tomatillo. Never any diseases either. One ti... read more


On Aug 10, 2005, rtsquirrel from Santa Cruz, CA wrote:

When I grew them in San Diego, I had incredible success, but here in Santa Cruz, I have witnessed powdery mildew looking stuff on my three surviving plants. I prop'd them from traded seeds, so that may be why (pm), but we get our fair share of foggy days early in the growing season, and wet morn's in the summer. I only water at the base, but while on vacation, someone else watered, so...


On Jun 16, 2004, Wingnut from Spicewood, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Easy to grow, tart fruit essential in making authentic Mexican verde sauce. Plant reseeds readily, but the seedlings are easily pulled up.


On Sep 28, 2003, kodak wrote:

I started my tomatillo plants indoors in mid May this year for the first time. I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and it is now sept 28. My wife and I just harvested about 4 lbs of the fruit. Some were small others quite large which were bursting the husks. I think next year I will try and start them a little earlier. Oh, and the reason we harvested today is that the weather forecast is for snow tomorrow. If any northern gardeners need more info on the plants please feel free to email me at [email protected]

Good luck with the next season


On Apr 13, 2003, graffixalley from Laurelville, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

I have planted tomatillos directly in the ground in central Ohio and have been able to harvest medium to small but tasty fruits. I have also seen volunteers come up the year after but they always seem to be smaller. I am actually trying to start them indoors this year (2003) to see if I get a better yield.


On Mar 22, 2003, Lavanda from Mcallen, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

This vegetable should not be confused with ground cherry just because it is husked as a ground cherry is.

This is a vegetable which is a native of Mexico. Although it resembles a small green tomato, it is not that either.

This plant was traditionally grown in Mexico in the corn fields, along with beans and squash and corn.

Many people have allergic reactions to tomatoes, but this fruit does not have the same effects in general.

The flavor is unique and delicious, and can be eaten raw or cooked. It is very popular in salsas, sauces, and as an ingredient in green chile stew or other stew dishes. It has a nice, tart flavor.

While growing, it is green with a green, loose, sort of moist husk and as it matures, it begins ... read more