Tomatillos and Ground Cherries?

iam3killerbs(7 NC Sandhills)January 11, 2011

Dumb question time, ...

If I grow Pineapple Tomatillos and Aunt Molly's Ground Cherry am I growing two varieties of the same thing that will have only subtle differences (like growing a Brandywine and a Big Boy tomato) or am I growing two similar but significantly different things (like growing a California Wonder and a Jalapeno pepper)?

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denninmi(8a)

The former -- "Pineapple Tomatillo" is just an alternate name for "Ground Cherry". There are various varieties, like Aunt Molly's and Cossack Pineapple, but they're all pretty similar, IMO. And, it also goes by the name "Husk Tomato"

Now, just to confuse you, there ARE two separate species, the regular one, which includes Aunt Molly's, which is Physalis pruinosa, and the Cape Gooseberry, which is Physalis peruviana. They are VERY similar overall. The main difference is the size of the fruit. With the regular one, they are pretty small, basically about the size of a currant tomato. The Cape Gooseberry is about twice that size, or about the size of a Sungold cherry tomato.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 11:23AM
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thisisme(az9b)

denninmi from what you just posted I assume an Aunt Molly's Ground Cherry and a Purple Tomatillo and a Toma Verde Tomatillo will cross pollinate?

I read that its best to have two or more when planting either Tomatillos or Ground Cherries. I was planning on planting four of each. If they all cross pollinate I will only plant two of each and not worry if one dies.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 11:42AM
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denninmi(8a)

Um, that I don't know. I'm the guy that passed Genetics in college ONLY by virtue of the fact it was a giant, herd class of over 500 people and was graded on a curve, so statistically, someone HAD to do worse than I did, just by virtue of the fact that, while I didn't understand a hoot of it past Mendel's peas, I at least bothered to show up MOST of the time.

What I do know, which is limited, is that most of the blossoms on tomatoes, peppers, ground cherries, eggplants, and other members of that plant family are self-pollinating, and don't generally cross with each other without some intent and effort on the part of the grower. I'm sure it can and does happen, but not too often from what I've read.

I'm sure somebody who knows more about it will come along. Or, you could try posting the question on the Tomato forum and I'm sure you'd get a concrete answer pretty quickly.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 12:53PM
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farmerdill

The tomatillo is Physalis ixocarpa. Ground cherries are all over the place Physalis pruinosa, Physalis peruviana, Physalis virginiana covers most of them. They will only cross within species. example ixocarpa and pruinosa will not cross.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 1:15PM
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iam3killerbs(7 NC Sandhills)

So they aren't actually the same thing then?

I'm wanting to try a couple new things but it would be disappointing to have them turn out to be the same plant.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 5:04PM
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thisisme(az9b)

Thanx farmerdill, I just checked my seeds and here is what I found.

Aunt Molly's is Physalis pruinosa

Purple Tomatillo is Physalis ixocarpa

Toma Verde Tomatillo is Physalis ixocarpa

So if I'm not saving seeds and I have no need to because I have plenty left over for next year. I can cut my planting of Tomatillos by four plants and still get good pollination. Hey! I just found space for something else in my garden. WooHoo!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 5:53PM
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farmerdill

Just remember that the growth habits are quite different, Your tomatillos should get to 3-4 ft. Aunt Mollys less than 12 inches. They won't pollinate your tomatillos if that is what you are counting on.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 6:14PM
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thisisme(az9b)

farmerdill I have read reports that planting two tomatillos often produces small yields. In the same posts I read that planting 3-4 greatly increases yields of all the plants do to better pollination. That was why I was planning on planting four of each. Since both of the Tomatillo's will cross pollinate I can plant two of each instead of four of each and still expect high yields. Thats what I am counting on.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 10:16PM
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