Physalis peruviana

Physalis peruviana
Cape gooseberry flower
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Physalis
Species: P. peruviana
Binomial name
Physalis peruviana
Cape gooseberry fruit

Physalis peruviana (physalis = bladder) is the plant and its fruit, also known as cape gooseberry (South Africa), Inca berry, Aztec berry, golden berry, giant ground cherry, Peruvian groundcherry, Peruvian cherry (U.S.), poha (Hawaii), ras bhari (India), aguaymanto (Peru), uvilla (Ecuador), uchuva (Colombia) and (rarely) physalis.[1] It is indigenous to South America, but has been cultivated in England since the late 18th century and in South Africa in the region of the Cape of Good Hope since at least the start of the 19th century. Many assume that this inspired the common name, "cape gooseberry", but the name apparently refers to the "cape", the calyx surrounding the fruit. Not long after its introduction to South Africa, it spread to Australia and various Pacific islands.[2]

It is closely related to the tomatillo, a fellow member of the genus Physalis. As a member of the plant family Solanaceae, it is more distantly related to a large number of edible plants, including tomato, eggplant, and potato, and other members of the nightshades. It is not closely related to the cherry, Ribes gooseberry, Indian gooseberry, or Chinese gooseberry, as its various names might suggest.

The fruit is a smooth berry, resembling a miniature spherical yellow tomato. Removed from its cape, it is about the size of a marble, say 1-2 cm in diameter. Like a tomato, it contains numerous small seeds. It is bright yellow to orange in color, and it is sweet when ripe, with a characteristic, mildly tart flavor, making it ideal for snacks, pies or jams. It is popular in salads and fruit salads, sometimes combined with avocado.

A prominent feature is the inflated, papery calyx enclosing each berry. The calyx is accrescent; at first it is of normal size, but after the petals fall it continues to grow until it forms a protective cover round the growing fruit. Because of the fruit's decorative appearance, it is popular in restaurants as an exotic garnish for desserts. If the fruit is left inside the husks, its shelf life at room temperature is about 30–45 days.


Geographic and cultivation origins

Native to high-altitude, tropical Colombia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru, where the fruits grow wild, physalis is casually eaten and occasionally sold in markets. Only recently has the plant become an important crop; it has been widely introduced into cultivation in other tropical, subtropical and even temperate areas.

The plant was grown by early settlers of the Cape of Good Hope before 1807. In South Africa, it is commercially cultivated; canned fruits and jam are staple commodities, often exported. It is also cultivated and naturalized on a small scale in Gabon and other parts of Central Africa.

Soon after its adoption in the Cape of Good Hope (presumably the origin of the name 'cape gooseberry'), it was carried to Australia, where it was one of the few fresh fruits of the early settlers in New South Wales. It is also favored in New Zealand, where it is said "the housewife is sometimes embarrassed by the quantity of berries in the garden",[3] and government agencies promote increased culinary use. It is also grown in India, and is called rasbhari (रसभरी) in Hindi.

The cape gooseberry is also grown in northeastern China, namely Heilongjiang province, as a seasonal fruit harvested in late August through September. In Chinese pinyin, the fruit is informally referred to as gu niao (菇茑), its Turkish name is altın çilek, and the scientific name is Physalis pubescens L or in Chinese pinyin mao suan jiang (毛酸浆).

It has been widely grown in Egypt for at least half a century, and is known locally as harankash حرنكش, a word of obscure origin, or as is-sitt il-mistahiya الست المستحية (the shy woman), a reference to the papery sheath. It makes an excellent substitute for apples, in crumble, for example.

Medical research, folk medicine and potential health value

Scientific studies of the cape gooseberry show its constituents, possibly polyphenols and/or carotenoids, demonstrate anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.[4][5][6]

The crude extract of the fruit-bearing plant has demonstrated antihepatoma and anti-inflammatory activities.[7][8]

It has shown possible antidiabetes and antihypertension properties in vitro.[9]

Some "withanolides" isolated from the plant have shown anticancer activity[10] The unusual 5-chloride withanolide, 9, displayed significant cytotoxic activity.

Antihepatotoxic effects (in rats) against CCl4 were found.[11]

Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) has been found in the plant. Evidence, mainly from animal models, suggests melatonin administration may help to prevent or cure diseases associated with oxidative stress, including neurodegenerative diseases, which frequently occur during aging.[12]

In folk medicine, Physalis peruviana has been used as a medicinal herb to treat cancer, leukemia, malaria, asthma, hepatitis, dermatitis and rheumatism.[13] None of these diseases, however, is yet confirmed in human clinical in vivo studies as treatable by the cape gooseberry.

Pests and diseases

In South Africa, cutworms are the most important of the many insect pests that attack the cape gooseberry in seedbeds; red spiders after plants have been established in the field; and the potato tuber moth if the cape gooseberry is in the vicinity of potato fields. Hares damage young plants, and birds eat the fruits if not repelled. In India, mites may cause defoliation. In Jamaica, the leaves were suddenly riddled by what were apparently flea beetles. In the Bahamas, whitefly attacks on the very young plants and flea beetles on the flowering plants required control.[3]

In South Africa, the most troublesome diseases are powdery mildew and soft brown scale. The plants are prone to root rots and viruses if on poorly-drained soil or if carried over to a second year. Therefore, farmers favor biennial plantings. Bacterial leaf spot (Xanthomonas spp.) occurs in Queensland. A strain of tobacco mosaic virus may affect plants in India.[3] In New Zealand, plants can be infected by Candidatus liberibacter subsp. solanacearum.[14]


  1. ^ Ad Hoc Panel of the Advisory Committee on Technology Innovation, Board on Science and Technology for International Development, National Research Council (1989). Lost Crops of the Incas: Little-Known Plants of the Andes with Promise for Worldwide Cultivation. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. pp. 249–50. ISBN 978-0-309-07461-2. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c Morton, J.F.; Russell, O.S. (1954). "The cape gooseberry and the Mexican husk tomato". Florida State Horticultural Society 67: 261–266. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  4. ^ Wu, SJ; Tsai JY, Chang SP, Lin DL, Wang SS, Huang SN, Ng LT (2006). "Supercritical carbon dioxide extract exhibits enhanced antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of Physalis peruviana". J Ethnopharmacol 108 (3): 407–13. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2006.05.027. PMID 16820275. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  5. ^ Franco, LA; Matiz GE, Calle J, Pinzón R, Ospina LF (2007). "Antiinflammatory activity of extracts and fractions obtained from Physalis peruviana L. calyces". Biomedica 1 (1): 110–5. PMID 17546228. 
  6. ^ Pardo, JM; Fontanilla MR, Ospina LF, Espinosa L. (2008). "Determining the pharmacological activity of Physalis peruviana fruit juice on rabbit eyes and fibroblast primary cultures". Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 7 (7): 3074–9. doi:10.1167/iovs.07-0633. PMID 18579763. 
  7. ^ beta-Hydroxywithanolide E from Physalis peruviana (golden berry) inhibits growth of human lung cancer cells through DNA damage, apoptosis and G2/M arrest. BMC Cancer. 2010;10:46 Authors: Yen CY, Chiu CC, Chang FR, Chen JY, Hwang CC, Hseu YC, Yang HL, Lee AY, Tsai MT, Guo ZL, Cheng YS, Liu YC, Lan YH, Chang YC, Ko YC, Chang HW, Wu YC The crude ex
  8. ^ Antioxidant activities of Physalis peruviana Wu S.-J., Ng L.-T., Huang Y.-M., Lin D.-L., Wang S.-S., Huang S.-N., Lin C.-C. Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin 2005 28:6 (963-966)
  9. ^ Evaluation of antihyperglycemia and antihypertension potential of native Peruvian fruits using in vitro models Pinto M.D.S., Ranilla L.G., Apostolidis E., Lajolo F.M., Genovese M.I., Shetty K. Journal of Medicinal Food 2009 12:2 (278-291)
  10. ^ .New cytotoxic withanolides from Physalis peruviana Lan Y.-H., Chang F.-R., Pan M.-J., Wu C.-C., Wu S.-J., Chen S.-L., Wang S.-S., Wu M.-J., Wu Y.-C. Food Chemistry 2009 116:2 (462-469)
  11. ^ Preliminary studies on antihepatotoxic effect of Physalis peruviana Linn. (Solanaceae) against carbon tetrachloride induced acute liver injury in rats Arun M., Asha V.V. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2007 111:1 (110-114)
  12. ^ Levels of the antioxidant melatonin in fruits of edible berry species Kolar J., Malbeck J. Planta Medica 2009 75:9
  13. ^ Supercritical carbon dioxide extract of Physalis peruviana induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in human lung cancer H661 cells Wu S.-J., Chang S.-P., Lin D.-L., Wang S.-S., Hou F.-F., Ng L.-T. Food and Chemical Toxicology 2009 47:6 (1132-1138)
  14. ^ Liefting, L. W.; L. I. Ward, J. B. Shiller, and G. R. G. Clover (2008). "A New ‘Candidatus Liberibacter’ Species in Solanum betaceum (Tamarillo) and Physalis peruviana (Cape Gooseberry) in New Zealand". Plant Disease 92 (11): 1588. doi:10.1094/PDIS-92-11-1588B. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Physalis peruviana — Coqueret du Pérou Coqueret du Pérou …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Physalis peruviana —   Uchuva (Aguaymanto) Physalis peruviana …   Wikipedia Español

  • Physalis peruviana — Kapstachelbeere Kapstachelbeere (Physalis peruviana), Blüte und Hülle der unreifen Frucht. Systematik Klasse …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Physalis peruviana — peruvinė dumplūnė statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Bulvinių šeimos dekoratyvinis, maistinis, vaisinis, vaistinis augalas (Physalis peruviana), paplitęs Pietų Amerikoje. atitikmenys: lot. Physalis edulis; Physalis peruviana angl. Cape… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • Physalis peruviana — peruvinė dumplūnė statusas T sritis augalininkystė apibrėžtis Vienametė, vaisinė kiauliauoginių (Solanaceae) šeimos daržovė. Vegetacijos trukmė ilga – 152 dienos. Dauginama sėklomis. Maistui vartojami švieži, konservuoti ar džiovinti vaisiai.… …   Žemės ūkio augalų selekcijos ir sėklininkystės terminų žodynas

  • Physalis peruviana — ID 63429 Symbol Key PHPE4 Common Name Peruvian groundcherry Family Solanaceae Category Dicot Division Magnoliophyta US Nativity Introduced to U.S. US/NA Plant Yes State Distribution AL, AR, CA, HI, KY, MA, NJ Growth Habit Shrub …   USDA Plant Characteristics

  • Physalis peruviana — noun annual of tropical South America having edible purple fruits • Syn: ↑cape gooseberry, ↑purple ground cherry • Hypernyms: ↑ground cherry, ↑husk tomato • Member Holonyms: ↑Physalis, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Physalis peruviana — …   Википедия

  • Physalis peruviana L. — Symbol PHPE4 Common Name Peruvian groundcherry Botanical Family Solanaceae …   Scientific plant list

  • PHYSALIS PERUVIANA L. - ФИЗАЛИС ПЕРУАНСКИЙ — см. 849. Многолетнее растение. Однолетнее растение. Ph. peruviana L. Ф. перуанский Sp. pl. ed. 2 (1763) 1670. Букасов (1930) 286. Алпатьев и Грюнер (1947) 10. Культ. фл. XX (1958) 502. S y n. Ph. edulis Sims.; Ph. pubescens R. Br.; Ph. tomentosa… …   Справочник растений

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.