Common Ground Cherry, Smooth Ground Cherry, Long-Leafed Ground Cherry, Wild Tomatillo
Synonyms of Physalis longifolia (7) (Updated on 4-21-21 From Plants of the World Online): Physalis lanceolata var. longifolia (Nutt.) Trel., Physalis polyphylla Greene, Physalis pumila var. sonorae Torr., Physalis rigida Pollard & C.R.Ball, Physalis virginiana var. longiseta Waterf., Physalis virginiana var. polyphylla (Greene) Waterf., Physalis virginiana var. sonorae (Torr.) Waterf.
Physalis longifolia Nutt. is the correct and accepted scientific name for this species of Ground Cherry. It was named and described as such by Thomas Nuttall in Transactions of the American Philosophical Society in 1836.
Infraspecific species of Physalis longifolia include Physalis longifolia var. subglabrata (Mack.& Bush) Cronquist and Physalis longifolia var. texana (Rydb.) J.R.Sullivan.
The genus, Physalis L., was named and described as such by Carl von Linnaeus in the first volume of the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753.
Plants of the World Online lists 95 species in the Physalis genus (As of 4-21-21 when I last updated this page). It is a member of the plant family Solanaceae with a total of 100 genera. Those numbers could change periodically as updates are made.
The above distribution map for Physalis longifolia is from the USDA Plants Database. The map on Plants of the World Online shows the species is also native in the upper part of Mexico. However, it only shows about half the states in the central to the western part of the United States. POWO gets the data for their maps of North America from Flora of North America (who gets their maps from USDA), but they haven’t included the plant family Solanaceae yet. A member of Kew informed me they are planning to include data from the USDA Plants Database later in 2021 for families not listed by Flora of North America at the moment. Like the rest of us, we are a work in progress, and progress is being made. Apparently, the species has not been introduced to countries outside of North America.
THERE ARE SEVERAL LINKS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE FOR FURTHER READING AND TO HELP WITH A BETTER POSITIVE ID.
While working in a friend’s pasture in 2019, and wildflower hunting at the same time, I ran across this small colony of Physalis longifolia. At first glance, I thought they were a species Horsenettle but the fruit, flowers, leaves, and stems were different. I took more photos, but they didn’t come out too well because of the sun. I was unable to locate the colony for more photos even though I was there every day for several weeks. I had never seen this species on my farm either until…
During the winter while walking in an area on my farm where there usually isn’t anything interesting, I saw these dried fruits… Hmmm… They looked like what I had seen for Physalis longifolia so I took photos and double-checked. I am not 100% certain, but I think they are from this species.
In 2020, I kept an eye on this area to see if any plants from these seeds came up. All summer long I kept checking and never found any Ground Cherry or anything similar that could have produced these seeds. SO, I will keep looking in 2021…
I need to get more photos of this species so I can write complete descriptions. You can check the links below for much better and detailed information. The links to Missouri Plants and Illinois Wildflowers are two out of many I highly recommend.
I have enjoyed photographing and learning about the many wildflowers growing on the farm and other areas. My farm is in Windsor, Missouri in Pettis County (Henry County is across the street and Benton and Johnson aren’t far away). I have grown over 500 different plants and most have pages listed on the right side of the blog. I am not an expert, botanist, or horticulturalist. I just like growing, photographing and writing about my experience. I rely on several websites for ID and a horticulturalist I contact if I cannot figure them out. Wildflowers can be somewhat variable from location to location, so sometimes it gets a bit confusing. If you see I have made an error, please let me know so I can correct what I have written.
I hope you found this page useful and be sure to check the links below for more information. They were written by experts and provide much more information. Some sites may not be up-to-date but they are always a work in progress. If you can, I would appreciate it if you would click on the “Like” below and leave a comment. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. You can also send an email to me at email@example.com. I would enjoy hearing from you especially if you notice something is a bit whacky.
FOR FURTHER READING:
PLANTS OF THE WORLD ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES)
INTERNATIONAL PLANT NAMES INDEX (GENUS/SPECIES)
WORLD FLORA ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES)
USDA PLANTS DATABASE
MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION
MSU-MIDWEST WEEDS AND WILDFLOWERS
KANSAS WILDFLOWERS AND GRASSES
PFAF(PLANTS FOR A FUTURE)
LADY BIRD JOHNSON WILDFLOWER CENTER
MONTANA FIELD GUIDE
FRIENDS OF THE WILDFLOWER GARDEN
MARYLAND BIODIVERSITY PROJECT
KANSAS NATIVE PLANTS
MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
KU NATIVE MEDICINAL PLANT RESEARCH PROGRAM
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON-BURKE HERBARIUM
NOTE: The figures may not match on these websites. It depends on when and how they make updates and when their sources make updates (and if they update their sources or even read what they say). Some websites have hundreds and even many thousands of species to keep up with. Accepted scientific names change periodically and it can be hard to keep with as well. In my opinion, Plants of the World Online by Kew is the most reliable and up-to-date plant database and they make updates on a regular basis. I make updates at least once a year and when I write new pages or add new photos but I do get behind. We are all a work in progress. 🙂