Monday, 16 June 2014

Tomatillo - Cape Gooseberry

Last year my 'grow tomatillo' trial completely failed. I sowed the seeds too early and besides, May and June were pretty cold and rainy - obviously, not at all ideal growing conditions for this tomato cousin. I have had exactly four seeds left from the last year and got exactly four healthy seedlings this year.

They are doing rather well and are flowering right now. As you can see by the morphology of the flower, it belongs to the same family as tomato, pepper, potato or aubergine - the Solanaceae or nightshade family.

I am growing it for fun, not expecting a big crop of fruits but still hoping to have enough to make a green sauce. I know it is much used in the Mexican cuisine and am rather curious what it tastes like. I have found a recipe HERE.

 Hopefully, I have enough plants to cross-pollinate because single plants are self-incompatible. 
I cannot wait to see the fruits. Tomatillo, Physalis philadelphica, has similar husk around the fruit as the relative we all know, Physalis alkekengi, Chinese lantern, but it is green in colour.


  1. I grew Tomatillos a couple of times, but I soon got bored with them. A novelty, but not on a par with Tomatoes! You can read about my experiences with them here:

    1. I have already rad this post. As I said, I am just curious, I am sure that tomatoes are much better.

  2. We are growing Inca berries - physalis peruviana - this year which are closely related to tomatillos.

    1. I have Physalis alkekengi and P. edulis in my garden, they survive the winter. Love to eat these berries. They contain lots of vitamin C.


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