Smooth groundcherry

August 21, 2015

Physalis longifolia Nutt. var. subglabrata (Mackenzie & Bush) Cronq.

Life cycle

Erect, branching, rhizomatous perennial. 

smooth groundcherry seedling
Young smooth groundcherry plant.

Leaves

Alternate, egg-, lance- to diamond-shaped with entire to toothed margins and long petioles. Leaves are smooth to slightly hairy.

smooth groundcherry leaf
Smooth groundcherry leaf.

Stems

Erect, branching, angled, up to 3-foot-tall herbaceous stems that become smooth and semi-woody with age.

smooth groundcherry plant
Smooth groundcherry plant.

Flowers and fruit

Flowers have five yellow to greenish yellow petals with purple centers, fused into a bell shape and found drooping and solitary in branch and leaf axils. Fruit are orange, red or purple, globe-shaped berries surrounded by a green, lantern-shaped, papery bladder. Each fruit contains many flat, circular to kidney-shaped seeds.

smooth groundcherry flower
Smooth groundcherry flower.

Reproduction

Seeds and rhizomes.

Similar weeds

Apple of Peru [Nicandra physalodes (L.) Gaertn.] Differs by having an aggressive, annual habit, being up to 4 feet tall and having blue, upward facing, bell-shaped flowers.

Apple of Peru fruit Apple of Peru flower
Apple of Peru fruit and flower.

Apple of Peru foliage
Apple of Peru foliage, flowers, and fruit. 

Print a PDF of this page: Smooth ground cherry

Back to identifying Christmas tree weeds.


Related Topic Areas

Integrated Pest Management


Related Series

Michigan State University Michigan State University Close Menu button Menu and Search button Open Close