Physalis pruinosa

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Physalis pruinosa
Physalis pruinosa habit.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Physalis
P. pruinosa
Binomial name
Physalis pruinosa

Physalis pruinosa is a plant in the genus Physalis in the nightshade family Solanaceae, often referred to as ground cherry or husk tomato. It is a native species in a range extending from northern Mexico through Central America.[1] The plant has a low, spreading habit, and fruits develop in a papery husk, as is characteristic of the genus. While most parts of the plant are toxic to humans, the fruit becomes edible (and sweet) once it has ripened to yellow. (The papery husk, a calyx, remains toxic and should not be eaten.) The fruit's flavor is similar in some respects to that of a ripe tomatillo, but notably has a strong flavor of pineapple as well, a fact reflected in the name of a common commercial variety, "Cossack Pineapple".

It is currently the subject of research into the possibility of developing a genetically modified variety for industrialized agriculture.[2] The research involves CRISPR genome editing which may be able to accelerate the domestication process.[3]


  1. ^ USDA National Plant Germplasm System
  2. ^ "This Wild Plant Could Be the Next Strawberry", Research News release, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, October 1, 2018
  3. ^ Dockrill, Peter. "Meet The Weird Fruit That Could Soon Become as Common as a Strawberry". ScienceAlert. Retrieved 2018-10-02.