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A picture of a Ground Cherry

Ground Cherry

Physalis spp.

Also known as

Chinese lanterns, Bladder herb, Husk tomato, Cape gooseberry

Starr 061225-2955 Physalis peruviana by Forest & Kim Starr (CC BY 3.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Light watering


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

More images of Ground Cherry

A photo of Ground Cherry
A photo of Ground Cherry
A photo of Ground Cherry
A photo of Ground Cherry
A photo of Ground Cherry

Ground Cherry Overview

Physalis - or Ground Cherry, as it's also known - is a genus of around 80 species. They are annual or perennial flowering plants, native to warm temperate and subtropical regions worldwide, with the largest centre of diversity in Mexico. Physalis are rhizomatous plants with simple or lobed (segmented) leaves and small, cream, bell-shaped, insignificant flowers that develop in the leaf axils. They grow in a bushy, upright form. The most striking feature of members of this genus, however, are the colourful, papery, orange or scarlet calyces that surround the berries. These berries can be bright yellow, red or purple, and some are edible. Some Ground Cherries are grown purely as ornamentals however, and the unusual lantern-shaped calyces become skeletonised and remain on the plants all winter. This makes them popular for dried flower arrangements - but be careful they don't become invasive in garden borders if you grow them yourself. To avoid this problem, grow Physalis in pots. Wherever they're grown however, they like well-drained soil in full sun or part shade.

Common problems with Ground Cherry

Generally pest and disease free.

    How to propagate Ground Cherry




    You can propagate by division or softwood cuttings in spring, annuals by seed in spring or autumn.

    Special features of Ground Cherry

    Attractive fruits

    Autumn colour

    Pot plant

    Other uses of Ground Cherry

    Grown mainly for their decorative, lantern-like calyces and fruits, produced in autumn. Leaves are poisonous if eaten.


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