Inca Berry – Physalis peruviana – Cape Gooseberry
Physalis peruviana is closely related to the tomatillo and to the Chinese lantern, also members of the genus Physalis. As a member of the plant family Solanaceae, it is more distantly related to a large number of edible plants, including tomato, eggplant, potato and other members of the nightshades. Despite its name, it is not closely related to the cherry, Ribes gooseberry, Indian gooseberry, or Chinese gooseberry.
If the fruit is left inside the intact calyx husks, its shelf life at room temperature is about 30–45 days.
Physalis peruviana (from South America) fruits are marketed in the United States most commonly as goldenberry and sometimes Pichuberry, named after Machu Picchu in order to associate the fruit with its origin in Peru and address the fact that this fruit is actually not a gooseberry as the name Cape gooseberry implies. In Britain, the fresh fruit is usually sold as Physalis, but the dried fruit is sold as goldenberry. In Chinese pinyin, the fruit is informally referred to as gu niao or mao suan jiang. in Egypt it is known locally as harankash or as is-sitt il-mistahiya (the shy woman). In French, it is called amour en cage (“love in a cage”), as well as other possible names, such as Peruvian coqueret, alkékenge, lanterne chinoise (“Chinese lantern”) (Physalis alkekengi), cerise de terre (“earth cherry”), or tomatillo (Physalis philadelphica).
Seeds in the ground July, 2017
bought inca beries in the store and used one for planting
Diseases and Problems
In South Africa, cutworms are the most important of the many insect pests that attack the cape gooseberry in seedbeds; red spiders after plants have been established in the field; and the potato tuber moth if the cape gooseberry is in the vicinity of potato fields. Hares damage young plants, and birds eat the fruits if not repelled. In India, mites may cause defoliation. In Jamaica, the leaves were suddenly riddled by what were apparently flea beetles. In the Bahamas, whitefly attacks on the very young plants and flea beetles on the flowering plants required control.
In South Africa, the most troublesome diseases are powdery mildew and soft brown scale. The plants are prone to root rots and viruses if on poorly drained soil or if carried over to a second year. Therefore, farmers favor biennial plantings. Bacterial leaf spot (Xanthomonas spp.) occurs in Queensland. A strain of tobacco mosaic virus may affect plants in India. In New Zealand, plants can be infected by Candidatus liberibacter subsp. solanacearum.