What do you know about physalis? As a rule, perennial Peruvian physalis is grown in central Russia, which can grow in one place without transplanting for 6-8 years. In addition to it, you can try to plant a Mexican physalis on your site, which is also called a Mexican tomato. Its fruits resemble tomatoes in taste and shape, and ripen 3 weeks earlier than the earliest varieties of tomatoes. Mexican physalis is often called vegetable, in contrast to the dessert strawberry physalis, the fruits of which have a clearly perceptible strawberry flavor. From them, like from grapes, you can make raisins. Let's take a closer look at the representatives of this genus, they deserve this attention!
Physalis, a large botanical genus of the Solanaceae family (Physalis) has 124 species of both cultivated and wild plants found today on all continents. Only 17 species are used for economic purposes.
This plant comes from Central and South America, where it has been cultivated for more than 2,000 years and today a large number of fruitful varieties have been developed that are adapted by humans to growing in various natural conditions.
All representatives of the Physalis genus are united by an interesting feature: the sepals of the flower grow so strongly in them that in the end they completely cover the fruit. Physalis fruits are very different: both juicy and dry; having a taste ranging from very pleasant to pungent-bitter; shades from greenish and lilac to bright orange. Flowers, similar to bells, also differ in their color - more often yellowish, less often - white and lilac.
A traditional dried flower, an original plant with unusual airy bright orange fruits, everyone knows under the name "Chinese lanterns". This is Franchet's perennial physalis, or ordinary (Physalis franchetii), one of the few representatives of its genus, perfectly adapted to the Russian winter. From the rhizomes located shallow underground, its bushes appear every spring, reaching a height of up to 90 cm.It has single white flowers up to 3 cm in diameter.And at the end of summer, berries appear on the bushes, usually 10-15 pcs., Wrapped in a red-orange cup, so reminiscent of the same "Chinese lantern".
All cultivated food types of physalis are subdivided into vegetables and berries.
Vegetable physalis are characterized by large fruits (from 20-30 to 150 g), average and below average taste when consumed fresh, early maturity, cold resistance, high productivity.
Physalis berries have medium-sized fruits (usually 1-3 g, in some varieties - up to 9 g) and higher taste. But early maturity, productivity and cold resistance in berry physalis are lower.
Physalis vegetable, or Mexican (Physalis ixocarpa) has long been cultivated as a vegetable plant. This annual, cross-pollinated plant is also called Mexican tomato or pineapple cherry. Its branchy shoot can reach a height of 1 m, the flowers are yellowish with a dark brown spot and purple stamens. They eat juicy, fleshy berries, which in the course of their ripening acquire a yellow-lemon or yellow-pink color, and their flesh is light amber. Rounded, slightly flattened, with a diameter of up to 6 cm, fruits reach a mass of up to 70 g. From above, the ripe fruit is "dressed" in a greenish filmy tight-fitting calyx. Refers to vegetable physalis.
The fruits of Mexican physalis are especially tasty with an abundance of sunny days and moderate rainfall. Ripe fruits have a pleasant sweet and sour taste and light aroma. They make an original jam, somewhat reminiscent of fig jam. Sweeter fruits in the varieties Moskovsky early, Gruntovy Gribovsky and Korolek. Undamaged fruits in the pouches can be stored in a cool dry place for up to 3 months.
Physalis raisin, or pubescent (Physalis pubescens) also has edible fragrant fruits, but smaller, up to 3.5 cm in diameter and weighing up to 20 g. It is a self-pollinating plant up to 70 cm high with a strongly pubescent stem. It is less cold-resistant, but suitable for growing in the conditions of central Russia. Physalis raisin belongs to berry physalis.
It has a rather exquisite taste, sweet, with a slight sourness, with a pronounced fruity aroma and aftertaste (closer to pineapple). Ripe fruits have a yellow-amber skin and pulp. The jam from them turns out to be beautiful, yellowish in color, but almost odorless. This species has a record keeping quality of fruits: undamaged fruits in caps can be stored in dry cold conditions for up to 6 months, gradually withering slightly. They dry perfectly to produce a real raisin with a mild fruity aroma.
Physalis Peruvian (Physalis peruviana) late maturing, very thermophilic and photophilous species. The plant can reach up to 1.5-2 m or more, in the middle lane, it is preferable to grow in film greenhouses, the growing season for it is 150 days or more. To obtain guaranteed annual yields in a film greenhouse in the middle lane, it is necessary to sow this physalis on seedlings from the beginning of February. Refers to berry physalis.
The delicate fruits of Peruvian physalis have a much brighter taste and aroma of garden strawberries. As a rule, the fruits are not palatable, they are stored for up to 1 month. Some varieties have a slight bitterness, reminiscent of grapefruit.
Physalis florida (Physalis floridana) is distinguished by its unpretentiousness. Fruits weighing about 1.5 g, pleasant to taste, sweet, almost completely acid-free and without fruity odor. The color of the fruit is light yellow, usually with purple specks, the flesh is light amber. Refers to berry.
Fruits are often consumed fresh. The jam resembles a yellow cherry jam, the taste becomes more original with the addition of perfume - odorous geranium leaves.
Undamaged fruits in the pouches can be stored in dry, cold conditions for up to 1.5 months.
Physalis is used to prepare a variety of dishes: salads, soups, omelets, vegetable pickles, sauces, jam is made from it, candied fruits and sweets are prepared, various pastries and decorations for cakes are made.