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Strawberry Tomatoes Physalis philadelphica

Phonetic Spelling
fy-SAY-liss
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

The tomatillo is a tomato-like vegetable in the Solanaceae (nightshade) family native to Meixco and Central America.  The round, green fruits have a tart flavor and are used raw, cooked, or dried.  All parts of the plant are poisonous except the ripe fruits.   

Plant them in full sun in moist, rich, well drained garden soil as transplants after the threat of frost in the late spring.  They do not do well in heavy, wet, clay soils so plant them in raised beds or containers if necessary. These easy to grow indeterminate plants grow to 3 to 4 feet in height and width and they produce fruits until the first frost. The stems easily root when they come into contact with the ground so its sprawling habit needs support like a tomato cage or trellis in the landscape or vegetable garden. 

Tomatillo plants are not great at self-pollinating so planting more than one will result in better fruit set.   Each plant will produce around 2 to 3 pounts of fruits and they will be ready for harvest about 60 to 75 days from transplanting.  Tomatillos are relatively drought tolerant.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Few insect or disease problems.  

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Pineapple'
    Short plant fruits taste like pineapple
  • 'Purple Coban'
    Purple fuits
  • 'Purple De Milpa'
    Purple stiped husks, strong flavored fruits
  • 'Rendidora'
    Green fruit, high yield, erect growth
  • 'Toma Verde'
    Green fruits, tart-sweet flavor, vining habit, prolific
'Pineapple', 'Purple Coban', 'Purple De Milpa', 'Rendidora', 'Toma Verde'
Tags:
#poisonous#drought tolerant#edible plant#easy to grow#showy fruits#vegetable garden#green fruits#edible fruits#vegetable#purple fruits#raised beds#container vegetable garden#warm season vegetable#container plant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Pineapple'
    Short plant fruits taste like pineapple
  • 'Purple Coban'
    Purple fuits
  • 'Purple De Milpa'
    Purple stiped husks, strong flavored fruits
  • 'Rendidora'
    Green fruit, high yield, erect growth
  • 'Toma Verde'
    Green fruits, tart-sweet flavor, vining habit, prolific
'Pineapple', 'Purple Coban', 'Purple De Milpa', 'Rendidora', 'Toma Verde'
Tags:
#poisonous#drought tolerant#edible plant#easy to grow#showy fruits#vegetable garden#green fruits#edible fruits#vegetable#purple fruits#raised beds#container vegetable garden#warm season vegetable#container plant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Physalis
    Species:
    philadelphica
    Family:
    Solanaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Mexico and Central America
    Wildlife Value:
    Bees and other pollinators fertilize the flowers.
    Edibility:
    Mature fruits are edible and can be eaten whole with no need to peel core or seed. They can be used for salsa, soups, stews, and meat dishes.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Poisonous
    Vegetable
    Warm Season Vegetable
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Round, 1 to 2 inch green or purple berries enclosed in a papery husk have a citrus flavor. They are ripe when they are still firm but fill the husk. Green varieties will turn a yellow green when ripe and purple varieties will turn from green to purple. The papery lantern shaped husks are tan when mature and quite showy.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Solitary
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    fused petals
    Flower Description:
    Solitary, yellow star or bell shaped fused petaled flowers are green or dark in the center. Their petals can extend backward as they mature and they hang downward in the axils of leaves.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Simple alternate leaves with a toothed margin. Resemble eggplant leaves.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Edible Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    All parts are toxic except the ripe fruits. Headache, stomach pain, lowered temperature, dilated pupils, vomiting, diarrhea, circulatory and respiratory depression, loss of sensation; may be fatal.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Solanine and other solanidine alkaloids.
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Stems