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Cape Gooseberries

Oct 06, 2010

This year i have grown Cape gooseberries. I think they may be called ground cherries in some areas. I grew them outside which may have been a mistake. They have grow really well and produced quite a lot of fruit, but the fruit has not ripened.

Does anybody know if the green fruits are safe to eat?


Photo credit: Sandy Austin


About 80 species, annual & perennial, with alternate,simple, soft textured, coarse-toothed leaves. Flowers mostly single, in leaf axils, usually yellow ( blue or white), dark & hairyin center. Fruits yellowish to red globular berries enclosed in yellowish to red inflated bladders(the calyx). We (North America) have 28 native or naturalized species. Comments: Fruits or leavs may cause gastroenteritis, burning than throat, fever, & diarrhea. Unripe fruits are more dangerous then ripe fruits; ripe fruits are considered edible in some species. NOTE: This is from "Peterson Field Guides" "Venomous Animals & Poisonous Plants" By Steven Foster ALSO: "Feasting Free on Wild Edibles" by Bradford Angier Ground Cherry (Physalis) is a close relations to tomato(Nightshade), but not even distant cousin of the cherry family. Also known as strawberry tomatoes & husk tomato. These large yellowish coverings so protect the single golden fruits that when, as often happens, they fall early, they still ripen on the ground. Too, if you will store the enclosed berries dry, they will continue to become more sugary for several weeks. Mr.Angier has a pie recipe, jam & syrup for canning. He eats them ripe,raw, with sugar & milk( page 52). I can give you the Recipe, if you would like it.
Hello! they are quite beautiful, I like them a lot. search unripe ground cherries, I found a link saying they are toxic but the filter wont let me post it.
we grew up with gooseberries in the garden in South Africa. so delicious - my mom used to make gooseberry jam and gooseberry piem and we would pick them and eat them fresh out of the garden. I dont know what variety they were, but they are a lovely fruit. Often the ethenol (a ripening enzyme - not sure if that is the right term) put out from a ripe fruit will make other fruits ripen - maybe place in a paper bag with a ripe banana, and see if they will ripen. .

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