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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 5/15/2013)

Flora Data (Last Modified On 5/15/2013)
Genus Physalis L.
PlaceOfPublication Sp. PI. 182-184. 1753
Note TYPE: P. alkekengi L.
Synonym [Physallis Diosk., Mat. Med., Paris. 1516, not seen.] Alkekengi Mill, Card. Dict., abr. ed. 1754. TYPE: Not designated. Herschellia Bowd., Excurs. Madeira 159. 1825. TYPE: H. edulis Bowd. (Referred to synonymy here by Index Kewensis.) Eplateia Raf., Sylv. Tell. 57. 1838. TYPE: Physalis arborescens L. Epetorhiza (Don) Steud., Nom., ed. 2. 1: 556. 1840. TYPE: Based on Physalis sect. Epeteiorhiza G. Don, Gen. Syst. 4: 449. 1837-8. TYPE: Not designated.
Description Unarmed herbs or rarely shrubs, pubescent with simple, often glandular or viscid, rarely dendritic hairs, sometimes sarmentose. Leaves simple and entire, shallowly toothed or lobed; petiolate; minor leaves when present resembling the major leaves. Inflorescence axillary, bracts obsolete, pedicels solitary or rarely in small fascicles, often elongating and cernuus in fruit. Flowers perfect and mostly nodding, calyx valvate, 5-lobed, accrescent and loosely enveloping the fruit or nearly so, remaining flexible or becoming woody-chartaceous; corollas yellow (Panama), often marked in the throat, funnelform -or rotate, sometimes reflexed, induplicate-valvate, the margin nearly entire or with 5 short, ovate-deltoid to subulate lobes; stamens mostly equal, the filaments inserted in the corolla tube, pubescent or not, the anthers all fertile, yellow or with various amounts of blue or purple and drying greenish, oblong-ovoid, basifixed, opening by longitudinal slits, in some species twisting and curling, the connective not apparent; ovary 2-locular, the many ovules anatropous, the style exserted, the stigma small. Fruit a juicy or fleshy, slightly stalked, many-seeded berry, glabrous but some- times viscid; seeds compressed, slightly rugose, the embryo circinnate at the periphery of the seed.
Habit herbs or rarely shrubs
Distribution Physalis has its greatest number of species in Mexico, but some species are found in Central and South America and a few occur in the Old World.
Note About 90 species are known. Most of the species now found in the Old World and probably those in Panama are widespread weeds. These plants are most common in ruderal sites. The berries are used for food, some species being cooked and others eaten out of hand. Physalis peruviana is a crop plant in South Africa, and P. alkekengi, a European species, is cultivated for ornament in temperate countries. Duke reported in the Darien Ethnobotanical Dictionary that "the fruits are eaten raw or cooked, especially as an additive to stews. They are some- times made into preserves by cooking in palm syrup." The name of the genus comes from a Greek word meaning bladder or bubble.
Common ground cherry sacabuche
Common tope-tope suevos
Common huevo de tortuga huevito
Common bomba miltomate
Common uchuba hierba de sapo
Common topeton
Reference Waterfall, U. T. A taxonomic study of the genus Physalis in North America north of Mexico. Rhodora 60: 107-114; 128-142; 152-173. 1958. Waterfall, U. T.. Physalis in Mexico, Central America and the West Indies, Rhodora 69: 82-120; 202-239; 319-329. 1967.
Key a. Stems glabrous except for emergent parts and occasionally near the nodes. b. Stout white hairs emerging from teeth or enations on the calyx ribs ...... 6. P. lagascae bb. Plants without stout, white long hairs on the calyx. c. Most leaves less than 2 cm long; leaves, stems, fruiting calyces, etc., evenly clothed with stiff, microscopic hairs; fruiting calyces to 20 mm long, 5-angled ...... 7. P. minuta cc. Leaves mostly more than 3 cm (to 15 cm) long; pubescence of minute, sparse, spreading hairs; fruiting calyces mostly longer than 20 mm, 5-angled or not. d. Calyx lobes linear-lanceolate just after flowering, twice or more the length of the tube ...... 2. P. cordata dd. Calyx lobes deltoid lanceolate, never much exceeding the tube ...... 1. P. angulata aa. Stems pubescent along much of the length (if glabrous in extreme age, then calyx 5-angled). e. Stems mostly shaggy pubescent, at least some hairs of stems or petioles 1 mm long. f. Fruiting calyx strongly angled; stems mostly densely hairy. g. Corollas with strongly contrasting dark markings in the throat ...... 9a. P. pubescens var. pubescens gg. Corolla with faint or no dark markings in the throat ...... 9b. P. pubescens var. hygrophila ff. Fruiting calyx not strongly angled; stems sparingly hairy. h. Calyx pilose; anthers yellowish; fruit not sticky ...... 3. P. gracilis hh. Calyx lightly pubescent; anthers bluish; fruit sticky ...... 8. P. philadelphica ee. Stems puberulent, no 1 mm long hairs present. i. Flowering calyx 2 mm across or less at the base of the lobes; most leaves 2 cm long or less ...... 7. P. minuta ii. Flowering calyx more than 2 mm across at the base of the lobes; most leaves 2 cm or more long. j. Fruiting calyx glabrous during and just after anthesis; calyx lobes narrowly lanceolate ...... 2. P. cordata jj. Fruiting calyx pubescent; calyx lobes deltoid to lanceolate. k. Pubescence of leaves mainly confined to margins and veins; leaves drying translucent, fruiting calyces rarely to 30 mm long ...... 4. P. hirsuta kk. Plants evenly puberulent overall with short, greyish hairs; leaves opaque; fruiting calyces sometimes large (40 mm long). 1. Calyx with strongly contrasting dark markings in the throat; anthers purple or blue ...... 9a. P. pubescens var. pubescens 11. Calyx with faint or no dark markings in the throat; anthers mostly yellow ...... 5. P. ignota
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