Virginia groundcherry

(Physalis virginiana var. virginiana)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

Virginia groundcherry

NatureServe

N5? - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

 

Habitat

Dry. Prairies, upland woods, fields.

Flowering

July to August

     
Flower Color

Pale yellow with purple to brown centers

     
Height

12 to 24

     

Identification

This is a 12 to 24 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises from a deep, horizontal, tough rhizome. It often forms colonies.

The stems are forked with ascending branches. The upper part of the stems are covered with short, stiff hairs that are bent backward, and no glandular hairs.

The leaves are alternate, thick, soft to the touch, stalked, egg-shaped to narrowly lance-shaped, 1¼ to 3 long, and 1½ to 2½ wide. They are broad and rounded or heart-shaped at the base, and taper to a point at the tip with straight sides along the tip. The margins have a few irregular teeth. The upper and lower surfaces have silky, appressed hairs as well as glandular hairs.

The inflorescence is single flowers nodding at the end of to ¾ long, hairy stalks (pedicels) rising from the leaf axils.

The flowers are ½ to ¾ long and wide. There are 5 pale yellow petals with purple to brown splotches near the center. They are fused into a bell-shaped corolla with 5 shallow lobes.

The fruit is a ½ spherical, berry, green at first, turning orange at maturity. It is enclosed in an inflated, papery, heart-shaped, 5-angled, ¾ long husk. The tip of the husk is mostly closed, and the base is sunken. The husk hangs from a to ¾ long pedicel. The berries are poisonous when green, edible when ripe.

 
Similar
Species

Clammy groundcherry (Physalis heterophylla var. heterophylla) is a taller plant, up to 36 at maturity. The upper stems are covered with both long, soft, shaggy hairs and sticky, glandular hairs. The leaves are broad, rounded or heart-shaped at the base,and clammy to the touch. The fruit is an yellow berry. The base of the husk is indented (this may be difficult to distinguish from the sunken base of Virginia groundcherry).


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Solanaceae (nightshade)

 

Subfamily:

Solanoideae

 

Tribe:

Physaleae

 

Subtribe:

Physalinae

 
Synonyms

Physalis intermedia

Physalis lanceolata

Physalis monticola

 
Common
Names

field groundcherry

lance-leaved ground-cherry

lanceleaf groundcherry

obedient plant

Virginia ground cherry

Virginia ground-cherry

Virginia groundcherry


 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Corolla

A collective name for all of the petals of a flower.

 

Glandular hairs

Hairs spread over aerial vegetation that secrete essential oils. The oils act to protect against herbivores and pathogens or, when on a flower part, attract pollinators. The hairs have a sticky or oily feel.

 

Pedicel

In plants: the stalk of a single flower in a cluster of flowers. In Hymenoptera and Araneae: the narrow stalk connecting the thorax to the abdomen.

 

Rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

       

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  Weed of the Week #841 - Virginia Groundcherry (Air Date 5/18/14)
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Published on May 21, 2014

It's our Weed of the Week, Virginia Groundcherry.

 
     

 

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