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Cape Gooseberry

Physalis peruviana
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Mouthwatering Recipes

Physalis was originally discovered and named in Peru and was known to the Incas. A herbaceous perennial which grows wild in the Andes. Its name originated in Australia after its journey from South Africa to the Cape of Good Hope even though it is not a native to the Cape.

Landscape Value

Grows and fruits well in a pot or may be used as a border plant where the soft grey-green foliage can be used to offset other species. Great border filler, where the fruit can be accessed and freely eaten.

Nutritional Value

Vitamins A, C & B, high in protein and rich in iron.

How to Eat

Great eaten fresh, dipped in melted chocolate or fondant icing. Use to decorate cheesecakes, pavlovas and gateaux. Cook and put in pies or make into jam or jelly. Compliments seafood, when made into a sauce, as it has a beautiful crisp flavour.

Expected Yield

300 fruits a year.

Generic Fruiting Time

J F M A M J J A S O N D

Growing

Sun

Full sun

Wind

Shelter from winds and tolerates moderate salty marine conditions.

Climate

Are frost tender and grows as an annual in colder regions. In warmer areas they will grow for several seasons producing seedlings to continue the plants. Frosts can burn the plants but will recover unless the frost was hard. Prune back after all frosts have passed.

Soil

Cape Gooseberries will grow in a wide range of soils and pHs. Soil must be well draining. Plants will handle periods of drought but too much moisture could encourage fungal problems.

Planting

Plant in early spring as this will help with an earlier fruit set, space 0.5-1.5 apart.

Fertiliser

In most situations Cape Gooseberries do not need any fertiliser. Unneeded fertiliser could result in lots of vegetation and little fruit.

Pruning

Pinch out new shoots to encourage bushy growth. Prune back hard in spring to encourage new growth for fruiting.

Pests

Very few problems unless the soil is too wet and causes fungal problems and rot.

Hardiness

-2°C

Special Conditions

 


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