A delectable berry, easily grown by home gardeners. It took only one sample of a dried berry dipped in dark chocolate to win me over! The fruits are also eaten out of hand, frozen for sorbet, cooked into jam (self-jelling due to a high pectin content), or dried. The flavor is characteristically sweet/tart and very intense. Mostly grown as a tender annual – it’s a short-lived perennial in mild winter areas. Quickly grows to 3’ high and wide. Avoid fertilizers for better fruit set, even on sandy soil. Great in a large container. Eat berries when they are golden and falling off the plant. They will continue to mature within their lantern like calyx. If kept dry and cool and inside the calyx, the berries can be stored for months. USDA zones 9-11 (annual elsewhere)
Giant Groundcherry is also known by the names Cape Gooseberry, Andean or Peruvian Groundcherry, or Goldenberry, this South American native nightshade produces delicious and incredibly nutritious large golden berries. The velvety leaves and beautiful lantern-like calyx that encases the fruit give it incredible ornamental appeal. It is a rambling 3-5′ understory plant that can be grown as a long season annual in temperate climates or taken indoors to be perennialized. The berries are very sweet with a complex and tangy aftertaste.
The ½-¾" fruits are encased in a papery husk that turns brown when the fruits ripen