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Help identify strange ground cherry (pic heavy)

15 years ago

I traded for a couple types of ground cherry seeds this past winter - Aunt Molly's and Cape Gooseberry. Both sets of plants are thriving and producing. I have already sampled my first fruit from the Aunt Molly's bushes...and it is good!

The problem seems to be with the purported Cape Gooseberry. While it is healthy, vigorous, and producing lots of fruit, none of it is edible or looks like any pictures I have seen for this species. Please, take a look below and let me know if anything rings a bell.

Aunt Molly's plant (low and sprawling)

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Cape Gooseberry? plant (upright, 48" and growing)

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Cape Gooseberry? lavender flower (all pictures of Physalis type flowers are yellow or cream colored)

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Cape Gooseberry? ripe fruit on plant (it does not fall off like Aunt Molly's)

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Comparison of Cape Gooseberry? and Aunt Molly's fruits with husks (CG on left, AM on right)

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Comparison of Cape Gooseberry? and Aunt Molly's fruits (CG on left, AM on right)

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Cape Gooseberry? fruit opened up (all seeds and very little, dryish pulp)

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The plant is obviously of the Physalis group, but definitely not one with edible fruit! I'm thinking that it might be one of the Chinese Lanterns, but I can't find any documented that have lavender flowers. Anyone have any ideas?

Thanks in advance,

Steven

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