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Wild Gooseberry

Physalis angulata


Wild Gooseberry is an erect, herbaceous, annual plant belonging to the nightshade family Solanaceae. Also known as cutleaf groundcherry, wild tomato, camapu and winter cherry. A second species that was also considered was Physalis ixocarpa, known a Tamatillo. Very similar in colour and structure, but the general consensus is that my spotting is P. angulata. It is a non-indigenous species in Australia, although I'm unable to ascertain if it has weed status. This plant was dry and withered, and definitely dying.


It is native to the Americas, but is now widely distributed and naturalized in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. This spotting was by the Metroplex wetlands in Murarrie, Brisbane QLD.


This was the only plant I found in the area. One section was wilting in the dry conditions whilst the other had already dried completely.

1 Species ID Suggestions

Chinese Lantern Plant
Physalis alkekengi

Sign in to suggest organism ID


Neil Ross
Neil Ross 9 years ago

Many thanks, Christiane, for the suggested ID. Unfortunately I don't think this is the one because the calyx of my spotting is pale green with red ribs, whereas P. alkekengi is orange to red. Same structure, but wrong colour. The genus is spot on. The Chinese Lantern Plant is certainly an impressive species.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 9 years ago

It's a pretty sad, dry specimen. Not much decent rain. The leaves are wilted, and even the green calyx looks dehydrated. I need to have another look and get some more pics before committing to an exact ID. Thanks everyone :-)

pamsai 9 years ago

looks like what we call wild gooseberry here in India. Fruits are green, then yellow, they can even be orange when really ripe. This one looks like it has dried out before it got really ripe.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 9 years ago

I was going mostly on leaf shape but didn't check P ixocarpa.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 9 years ago

Cheers, Mark. I'm starting to lean towards Physalis ixocarpa (Tamatillo), mainly because of the green fruit, and the image searches I've done look pretty close. Regardless, it has to be one or the other. I'll have a closer look tomorrow.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 9 years ago

So good Emilie. Fascinating plant. Looks like Physalis angulata (Wild Gooseberry). Nice series Neil.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 9 years ago

Thanks for that, Emilie. I'll check it out :-)

EmilieChich 9 years ago

Nice photos, Neil, but I think you did not get the right ID. The fruit of Cardiospermum grandiflorum has 6 ribs and is divided in 3 compartments, each containing one seed. Your plant has more ribs and contains a berry in an undivided fruit. I think it is a Physalis sp., in the Solanaceae family.
Check this out:

Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Spotted on Feb 26, 2014
Submitted on Feb 27, 2014

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