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Scientific name: Physalis peruviana

Local Name: Cape Gooseberry


Cape Gooseberry – Physalis peruviana

Physalis was originally discovered and named in Peru and was known to the Incas. It is an herbaceous perennial which grows wild in the Andes. Its common name originated in Australia after its journey from South Africa to the Cape of Good Hope, even though it is not a native to the Cape Province.

It is a straggling, upright bushy shrub, up to 1.8m tall that bears yellow fruit inside a brown papery envelope, resembling a Chinese lantern, called a husk. With a sweet pineapple-like flavour, the fruit (also called Inca berry or ground cherry) is native to South America.

Landscape Value

Grows and fruits well in a pot or may be used as a border plant where the soft grey-green foliage can be used to offset other species. It can also serve as a great border filler, where the fruit can be accessed and freely eaten.