Ontario Weeds: Clammy ground-cherry

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Excerpt from Publication 505, Ontario Weeds, Order this publication

Table of Contents

  1. Name
  2. Other Names
  3. Family
  4. General Description
  5. Stems and Roots
  6. Flowers and Fruit
  7. Habitat
  8. Similar Species
  9. Related Links

Name: Clammy ground-cherry, Physalis heterophylla Nees.

Other Names: coqueret hétérophylle, cerise de terre

Family: Nightshade or Potato Family (Solanaceae)

General Description: Perennial, reproducing by seed and by deeply penetrating and widely spreading roots.

Photos and Pictures

Clammy ground-cherry.

Clammy ground-cherry.

Clammy ground-cherry.
Clammy ground-cherry.

Stems & Roots: Stems erect, 20-90cm (8-36in.) high, branched in the upper part, often apparently branching in 3's (2 branches and 1 leaf petiole) with a flower in the centre; leaves alternate (1 per node), long-stalked, ovate to somewhat rounded or diamond shaped in outline, margins smooth or with shallowly and irregularly rounded teeth; stems and leaves covered with sticky hairs.

Flowers & Fruit: Flowers borne singly in the angles where 2 or 3 stems and leaves come together, drooping on short stalks; calyx at first tubular with 5 short blunt lobes; petals united forming a trumpet-shaped corolla, mostly yellow with a dark purple centre; after blossoming, the calyx expands and becomes bladder-like enclosing a small, sperical, green berry which turns yellowish when ripe; the berry resembles a small tomato and contains many small seeds. Flowers from June to September.

Habitat: Clammy ground-cherry occurs in southern Ontario under dry open woodland, in pastures, cultivated fields waste areas and roadsides, especially in well-drained coarse soils.

Similar Species: It is distinguished by its very deep perennial root, the clammy texture of its sticky stem and leaves, its yellow and purplish flowers produced in the angles between usually 3 or more stems and leaves, and its bladder-like inflated calyx containing a small greenish or yellowish berry.

Related Links

... on general Weed topics
... on weed identification, order OMAFRA Publication 505: Ontario Weeds
... on weed control, order OMAFRA Publication 75: Guide To Weed Control

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