Physalis heterophylla Nees
Family - Solanaceae
Stems - Erect, from tough horizontal rhizomes, to 50cm tall, herbaceous, terete, densely glandular pubescent, branching, often purplish at the nodes. Hairs of the stem often branching and of different lengths.
Leaves - Alternate, petiolate. Petioles to +1.5cm long, pubescent as the stem. Blades ovate, typically cordate with a few coarse, irregular teeth on margins, acute, to +6cm long, -5cm broad, sericeous above, less so below, glandular pubescent on both surfaces.
Inflorescence - Single flowers from the leaf axils. Flowers nodding. Pedicels to -1cm in flower, longer in fruit, densely glandular pubescent.
Flowers - Corolla yellow externally, purplish at base internally, funnelform, glandular pubescent externally, glabrous internally except at very base, to +/-1.5cm broad. Stamens 5, adnate at base of corolla tube, included, surrounded by tufts of white hairs (the hairs branching). Filaments purple, clavate, glabrous at apex, 3-4mm long. Anthers yellow to purple, 3-4mm long. Ovary superior, yellow, 1.5mm long, 2mm in diameter, glabrous, subtended by a green nectary, 2-locular, placentation axile. Seeds (ovules) many. Calyx campanulate, densely glandular pubescent externally with hairs if different lengths, glabrous internally, 5-lobed. Tube to 5mm long. Lobes 5mm long, triangular-attenuate. Calyx inflated in fruit to +3cm long, 2.5cm in diameter. Fruit viscid, glabrous, globose, 1cm in diameter.
Calyx in flower.
Calyx in fruit.
Flowering - May - August.
Habitat - Prairies, rocky woods, waste ground, thickets, gravel bars.
Origin - Native to U.S.
Other info. - P. heterophylla can be found throughout Missouri and is fairly easy to ID in the field due to its glandular pubescent stems, coarsely toothed leaves, thick roots, and bi-colored flowers. The fruit of this species is edible when ripe but the plant itself is toxic.
Photographs taken at the Current River Conservation Area, Reynolds County, MO., 7-15-01, and in Ellington, MO., 6-5-03.