clammy groundcherry

(Physalis heterophylla var. heterophylla)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

clammy groundcherry

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

 

Habitat

Dry. Upland woods, prairies. Full or partial sun.

Flowering

June to September

     
Flower Color

Pale yellow with purple to brown centers

     
Height

8 to 36

     

Identification

This is a 8 to 36 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises from a deep, horizontal, tough rhizome. It often forms colonies.

The stems are branched. The upper part of the stem is densely covered with both long, soft, shaggy hairs and sticky, glandular hairs.

The leaves are alternate, thick, soft to the touch, stalked, egg-shaped or diamond-shaped, 1½ to 4 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 3 5 long, glandular-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 yellow at maturity. It is enclosed in an inflated, papery, heart-shaped, ¾ long husk. The tip of the husk is mostly closed, and the base has a shallow indentation where it connects to the stem. The husk hangs from a pedicel that has elongated to 1. The berries are poisonous when green, edible when ripe.

 
Similar
Species

Virginia groundcherry (Physalis virginiana var. virginiana) is a shorter plant, no more than 24 at maturity. The upper stems are covered with short, stiff hairs that are bent backward, and no glandular hairs. The leaves taper to the base and extend down along the stem somewhat. The fruit is an orange berry. The base of the husk is sunken (this may be difficult to distinguish from the indented base of clammy groundcherry).


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

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Solanaceae (nightshade)

 

Subfamily:

Solanoideae

 

Tribe:

Physaleae

 

Subtribe:

Physalinae

 
Synonyms

Physalis ambigua

Physalis heterophylla var. ambigua

Physalis heterophylla var. clavipes

Physalis heterophylla var. nyctaginea

Physalis heterophylla var. villosa

Physalis nyctaginea

Physalis sinuata

 
Common
Names

clammy ground-cherry

clammy 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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