Physalis longifolia Nutt. - Ground Cherry
Family - Solanaceae
Stems - To +1m tall, from caudex (well below ground), herbaceous, angled, purple-green, glabrous or with a few appressed hairs on angles (strigillose), minutely winged on angles, (wings -1mm broad), branching (divergent) above, typically erect but also reclining with age.
Leaves - Alternate, petiolate. Blade lanceolate to ovate, glabrous or sparse pubescent above, typically oblique at base, to +15cm long, +9cm broad. Margins entire to sinuate or coarsely dentate. Midrib purple with antrorse appressed pubescence. Petiole to +4cm long, winged.
Inflorescence - Single axillary flowers on peduncle to 2cm long. Peduncles antrorse strigillose, elongating in fruit.
Flowers - Pendant. Corolla funnelform, +2cm broad, sparse pubescent externally, dense pubescent(tomentose) internally in tube, yellow with purple at base. Corolla tube 5-6mm long. Stamens 5, adnate at base of corolla tube. Filaments thick, purple, clavate, glabrous, 5-6mm long. Anthers yellow 3.5mm long. Ovary green, glabrous, subglobose, 2-locular. Calyx tubular, 5-lobed, antrorse strigose. Tube to 5mm long. Lobes acuminate, to 6mm long, 4mm broad at base. Calyx tube inflating at maturity and surrounding fruit, to 3cm long, -3cm in diameter. Fruit pendant.
Corolla and stamens.
Flowering - May - September.
Habitat - Rich woods, ravines, bases of slopes, streambanks, thickets, pastures, disturbed sites, roadsides, railroads.
Origin - Native to U.S.
Other info. - Steyermark
lists 4 variations for this species. I will not go into those here as it
may be that they are no longer considered valid. Regardless, Physalis
longifolia is probably the most common species in the genus
found in Missouri. The plant can look like a little "tree" with a single
straight stem and "canopy" of branches near the apex, or, the plant can
grow very low and almost sprawl.
Photographs taken off Hwy H, Shannon County, MO., 7-30-04.