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Physalis ixocarpa

Pronunciation: Fy-sal-is iks-so-kar-puh
Family: Solanaceae (nightshade family)
Synonym: Physalis aequata, physalis philadelphica
Common Name: Tomatillo, mexican husk tomato, green tomato, jam berry, mexican ground cherry, tomate verde
Plant Type:
  • fruits, vegetables
  • annual
Height to: 3'-6'
Width to: 3' - 4'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • Not apply
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun
  • full sun
Bloom Season:
  • mid spring
Bloom Description: The flowers are yellow with purple markings and yield to the tomatillo fruit which is technically a berry, as is the tomato fruit. The fruit develops inside a green and purple bladder-like calyx that looks like a small chinese lantern hanging from the stem. Extracted from its papery husk, an unripe tomatillo is slightly sticky on the surface, and looks much like a small green tomato, 1-3 in (2. 5-7. 6 cm) in diameter; but the tomatillo has a drier texture and a distinctive flavor.
Soil Type: Prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil.
  • Yes
Pests and Diseases: Colorado potato beetles , flea beetles, tomato hormworms, early blight
Propagation: Tomatillos are grown from seed. It's easy to save your own tomatillo seeds. Pulverize the fruits in a blender or food processor with enough water to cover them. (this will not harm the small, slippery seeds. ) pour the mixture into a bowl, add some more water and stir well. The good seeds will settle to the bottom, and the immature seeds and debris will float and can be poured off the top. Repeat as necessary. Collect the good seeds by pouring the clean water through a strainer and then dry them on a ceramic or glass plate. They should remain viable for several years if kept in an airtight container and stored in a cool, dry place such as the refrigerator
Native to: Mexico and central america and is cultivated throughout the region. They also are cultivated in india, australia and south africa as well as in the southern us. Tomatillos, especially the wild tomatillo (p. Philadelphica), have naturalized in some areas outside their native range, including southern california.
Notes for Identification: Americans don't use tomatillos much, but south of the border tomatillos are an important ingredient in salsas. The unripe fruits are a principal component of salsa verde, a mildly hot sauce served with tacos, enchiladas and chile rellenos. Tomatillos also are stewed, fried and baked. The ripe fruits are sweet and eaten out of hand and used in salads, preserves, and guacamole. Tomatillos are sometimes strung in garlands, like chili pepper ristras.
Located in: Seed Photos
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