The physalis is a plant belonging to the Solanaceae family whose scientific name is Physalis peruviana. For many it is also called wild tomato, Physalis, uvilla or aguaymanto, being a shrub native to America. This branched shrub usually grows up to one meter high. The gooseberry has a yellowish flowers that have a curious bell shape. The fruit of this plant is round with many flat seeds inside, resembling small tomatoes but it is about 2 cm in diameter and weighs about 6-10 g. The flavor of the fruit is sour when ripe. The cape gooseberry can be eaten fresh in salads, but you can find canned and in syrup. The fruit grows wrapped in five sepals calyx shaped to protect from insect, fungal and birds.
The physalis is a fruit rich in vitamin C and phosphorus. It also has calcium, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin A, iron, protein and fiber.
The uvilla grows wild in much of Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Chile and Bolivia and is usually present at altitudes of between 1,500 and 3,000 meters. In Spain we find physalis peruviana grown in the area of Huelva.
Physalis cultivation or wild tomato
Although it gives the impression that it is a difficult plant to grow, it is certain that the cape gooseberry or physalis is quite simple to germinate. Prefers well-drained clay soils. The pH should be around 5.5 and 6.8, in addition to be a land rich in organic matter. The temperature is better than average, about 18 º C-20 º C. Not tolerate extreme temperatures, neither high nor low.
To cultivate the cape gooseberry or physalis used seeds extracted from ripe fruits themselves. The seeds are placed in hotbeds full of compost or mulch watered. It is best to be at the average temperature in need, about 20 ° C. In a few weeks, if all goes well and done properly, the seeds begin to germinate.