Overview

Distribution

Global Range: Native to Mexico. Introduced to US.

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Herbs annual. Stems branched, glabrescent or sparingly pubescent. Petiole 3-8 cm, densely pubescent; leaf blade broadly ovate, 3-8 × 2-6 cm, glabrescent or sparsely pubescent, base cordate, often oblique, margin usually unequal dentate, apex acute. Pedicel 3-8 mm, glabrescent. Calyx campanulate, divided to halfway. Corolla pale yellow, spotted in throat. Anthers bluish to purplish, 2-3 mm. Fruiting calyx green, ovate, 2-3 × 2-2.5 cm, weakly 5-angled, slightly invaginated at base, often completely filled by fruit. Berry green, yellow, or purplish, globose, ca. 1.2 cm in diam. Seeds discoid, ca. 2 mm in diam. Fl. May-Aug, fr. Aug-Nov.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Physalis cavaleriei H. Léveillé.
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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Waste places, cultivated fields, roadsides; <700 m.

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Habitat & Distribution

Grasslands, disturbed sites, cultivated and naturalized. Heilongjiang, Jilin [native to Mexico, widely cultivated and naturalized]
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Persistence: Short-lived

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Physalis philadelphica

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Barcode data: Physalis aequata

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Physalis aequata

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 3
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Physalis philadelphica

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 24
Specimens with Barcodes: 24
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

Reasons: Native of Mexico and introduced to US.

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Uses

Uses: FOOD, Fruit, Spice/herb/condiment, Beverage (non-alcoholic), Other food

Production Methods: Cultivated, Wild-harvested

Comments: Fruit eaten raw but also used as very important ingredient for meat dressings and sauces. It is used for this purpose in Asia and Africa. These fruits were important in the Maya and Aztec diet, especially before 1492.

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Wikipedia

Tomatillo

The tomatillo (Physalis philadelphica), known as the Husk Tomato or Mexican Husk Tomato, is a plant of the nightshade family, related to the cape gooseberry, bearing small, spherical and green or green-purple fruit of the same name. Tomatillos originated in Mexico,[1] and are a staple of Mexican cuisine. Tomatillos are grown as annuals throughout the Western Hemisphere. Tomatillos are generally eaten fried, boiled or steamed.

Description[edit]

The tomatillo fruit is surrounded by an inedible, paper-like husk formed from the calyx. As the fruit matures, it fills the husk and can split it open by harvest. The husk turns brown, and the fruit can be several colors when ripe, including yellow, red, green, or even purple. The freshness and greenness of the husk are quality criteria.

Tomatillos are the key ingredient in fresh and cooked Mexican and Central-American green sauces. Fruit should be firm and bright green, as the green color and tart flavor are the main culinary contributions of the fruit. Purple and red-ripening cultivars often have a slight sweetness, unlike the green- and yellow-ripening cultivars, and are therefore somewhat more suitable for fruit-like uses like jams and preserves. Like their close relatives, cape gooseberries, tomatillos have a high pectin content. Another characteristic is they tend to have a varying degree of a sappy sticky coating, mostly when used on the green side out of the husk.

Tomatillo plants are highly self-incompatible, and two or more plants are needed for proper pollination. Thus, isolated tomatillo plants rarely set fruit. Research conducted by Kamla Kant Pandey in 1957 supports this fact.[2] Ripe tomatillos will keep refrigerated for about two weeks. They will keep even longer if the husks are removed and the fruits are placed in sealed plastic bags stored in the refrigerator.[3] They may also be frozen whole or sliced.

Names[edit]

The tomatillo is also known as the husk tomato, jamberry, husk cherry, or Mexican tomato, but the latter is more appropriately used to describe the relative of which bears smaller fruit. These names can also refer to other species in the Physalis genus. In Spanish, it is called tomate de cáscara, tomate de fresadilla, tomate milpero, tomate verde (green tomato), tomatillo (Mexico; this term means "little tomato" elsewhere), miltomate (Mexico, Guatemala), or simply tomate (in which case the tomato is called jitomate). Even though tomatillos are sometimes called "green tomatoes", they should not be confused with green, unripe tomatoes (tomatoes are in the same family, but a different genus).

Image gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tomatillo at Aggie Horticulture archive
  2. ^ Vernonica E. Franklin-Tong, ed. (2008). Self-Incompatibility in Flowering Plants: Evolution, Diversity and Mechanisms. Springer. ISBN 978-3-540-68485-5. 
  3. ^ Carter, Noelle; Deane, Donna (2008-05-14). "Tomatillo: a green sourpuss with a sweet side". Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles Times). Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
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Notes

Comments

The fruits are used in some countries for sauce making. 

 The report in FRPS of Physalis pubescens is actually based on specimens of P. philadelphica. Although Physalis pubescens is a widely distributed New World weed expected to be found in China, no Chinese material has been seen. Lauener (Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinburgh 37: 148. 1978) placed P. cavaleriei and P. esquirolii as synonyms of P. pubescens. We have not seen the type specimens, and Léveillé's original description of P. esquirolii notes dark red fruits, which are unknown in American Physalis. Confident assignment of these synonyms awaits further study.

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