Strawberry Tomato
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Strawberry Tomato
P Introduced Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Strawberry Tomato, Ground Cherry, Husk Tomato
Botanical name: Physalis pruinosa    Family: Solanaceae (Potato family)
Synonyms: Phsyalis nicandroides var. attenuata, Physalis maxima

Strawberry Tomato is an attractive, shrublike small plant 1-3 feet tall with somewhat arching branches. It is similar to Cape Gooseberry, but is more prominently hairy. It can be distinguished by its yellow anthers (without purple tinge), flowers with 5 pale green inprominent spots on the throat, fruiting calyx longer than broad and gradually tapering at tip; berry gray green when mature, stems (young) and major veins of leaves covered with hairy pubescence intermixed with short stalked glands. Leaves are light green, coarsely and prominently toothed from middle and frequently drying yellow. After the flower drops off, the calyx expands to cover the fruit, resulting in a lantern-shaped husk. Small orange fruit similar in size and shape to a cherry tomato. Flavor is a pleasant, unique tomato /pineapple like blend. Strawberry Tomato is native to Mexico and Central America; introduced into tropical Asia (India: Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, etc.).

Identification credit: J.M. Garg Photographed in Uttarakhand & Tamil Nadu.

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