Scientific Name: Physalis heterophylla

Common Name: clammy groundcherry

Leaves: Leaves: Alternate, ovate, 1-3 inches long, margins are either continuous and untoothed or shallowly indented. Hairs are short and dense along the margins and on the lower leaf surface, but few and scattered on the upper surface.Roots: Deeply buried thick rhizomes.

Identifying Characteristics: Perennial from rhizomes, yellow and purple flowers, stems and leaves hairy, papery case surrounding the berry. Smooth groundcherry (<a href='../../weedimg/324'> Physalis subglabrata</a>) is similar but does not have the dense (clammy) hairs that are typical of clammy groundcherry. Additionally, the berries of smooth groundcherry are orange, red, or purple when mature, unlike the yellow berries of clammy groundcherry.

Flower Seed Head: Stems: Erect, highly branched, with hairs.Flowers: Occur singularly on flower stalks (pedicels) in the region between the stem and leaf, or the region between the stem and branch (axils of the branches and leaves). Petals are yellow with a purple center.

Seed Fruit: Seedling: Stem below the cotyledon (hypocotyl) smooth or with short hairs toward the top. Cotyledons 1-4 mm wide, 4-9 mm long, without hairs, or with a row of hairs on margins and on the midvein below. Plants emerging from rhizomes lack cotyledons.Fruit: A round berry, surrounded by a papery case (the calyx). The berry is yellow when mature.

Where Found: A perennial from rhizomes, 8 inches to several feet in height. Mature plants develop a papery case over the berry. Found throughout the eastern United states, west to Utah and Texas, also found in Washington.

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Solanaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: alternate

  • Leaf shape: oval; round

  • Leaf margin: serrated; wavy

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Stem hairs: has hairs

  • Flower color: yellow

  • Growth habit: upright and nonwoody

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: simple

  • Leaf hairs: has hairs

  • Root structure: taproot

  • Flower symmetry: bilateral symetry

  • Flower diameter: nickle; dime

  • Leaf stalk: shorter than leaf