Solanaceae / Nightshade
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Medical Uses: The plant has been used as a diuretic for
various urinary problems. There seems to be no scientific data to support this. Its use for bladder problems may go back
to the doctrine of signatures . Physalis is the Greek word for bladder.
Warning:All nightshades must be considered somewhat dangerous. All parts of this plant except the ripe fruits may be toxic. It is possible that even the berries of some non native Physalis species may be toxic. Eating a large number of the ripe berries may cause diarrhea.
Similar Species: There are over a dozen
species of Physalis these include:
Clammy Ground Cherry (P. heterophylla) which is the most common and has toothed,
Smooth Ground Cherry (P. subglabrata) which has narrower less toothed leaves and is almost hairless.
Virginia Ground Cherry (P. virginiana) Which is similar to Smooth Ground Cherry except hairy.
Chinese Lantern (P. alkekengi) (also known as Cape Gooseberry and Winter Cherry) is a native of eastern Europe and Asia and is often grown in flower gardens. It has white flowers and the berry and the calyx surrounding it turn red.
Clammy Ground Cherry
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The Search below may provide more information about this species. Some of
URLs may have been used as a source for this page not otherwise cited. Most of the information not cited comes from
multiple sources that can be found in the Books page. The USDA plant links
are provided by: USDA, NRCS 1999. The PLANTS database (http://plants.usda.gov/). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA. You can check
species names at ITIS Advanced Search to see
if they meet the current ITIS taxonomic criteria.
By: Newcomb, Lawrence and Illustrated by Morrison, Gordon. 1977, Little, Brown and Company, ISBN:0-316-60442-9
Wildflo wers of Tennessee the Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians
By: Dennis Horn and Tavia Cathcart and Thomas E. Hemmerly and David Duhl. , ISBN:1551054280
Angiosperms / Flowering Plants
Dicots / Two Seed Leaves
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