Physalis longifolia

groundcherry, Longleaf groundcherry, smooth ground-cherry

Description: perennial

Place of origin: North America

Ecological function: food and habitat for wildlife

Urban habitat: Found in abandoned fields, disturbed woodlands, along roadsides, railroads, and in waste areas; thrives in disturbed sites.

History: The yellow-green fruit of Physalis longifolia is edible and when eaten fresh is said to taste like “an effervescent, under-ripened strawberry", and the dried berry "like a cross between a raisin and dried cranberry." Several southwestern Native American tribes consumed it as food, The Puebloan peoples ate the fruitd fresh or cooked. The Zuni people used the berry boiled and ground with onioncoriander, and chilis to make a dish considered to be a delicacy. The dried fruit was mixed into flour for bread. Despite its native status, it is considered to be a noxious weed in parts of California.