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Cape Gooseberry

Andenbeeren Pflanzen Physalis KapkirscheFor many, it is the exotic fruit par excellence - the Cape Gooseberry or Physalis.
This lovely fruit has a rich aroma, which provides a variety of flavours, and its pretty lantern, makes it a secret star in the berry family. Here at Lubera, the berry experts from the Swiss Rhine Valley, you will find attractive varieties of Cape Gooseberry, which offer something for every taste.

Cape Gooseberry Plants in the Lubera Garden Shop

Physalis are annual or perennial herbaceous plants that do not get woody. Their geographic origin or distribution has produced the names Peruvian Groundcherry and Cape Gooseberry. Physalis belongs to the nightshade family and is therefore related to both the tomato and the potato. However, the Cape Gooseberry flower differs significantly from the potato or tomato blossom. The blossom of the Physalis has a yellow shade with a distinctive brown inner centre. The fruit that appears after fertilisation grows in a pretty lantern, the yellowing of which indicates the ripeness of the berry. The lantern is more than just a decorative element – it also protects the berry from pests. The berries are juicy, sweet and, above all, aromatic! Their flavour is of vanilla, coconut and biscuit. And we can send you this world of taste quickly when you buy Lubera Cape Gooseberry plants.

   
 
Cape gooseberry '(Big) Little Buddha'

Large-fruited Physalis

From £4.90 *

Cape gooseberry 'Biscuit'

Compact cape gooseberry

From £4.90 *

Cape gooseberry 'Fruttosa'

The very special, fruity cape gooseberry

From £4.90 *

Cape gooseberry 'Peters Best'

Rich-bearing Physalis

From £4.90 *

Large-fruited Physalis Pa 1517-33

The cape gooseberry with large and exotic fruits

From £4.90 *

   
 

Lubera Physalis Varieties

There are four different varieties of Cape Gooseberries that can be enjoyed from Lubera. They all have their advantages; it is best to try all of them!

‘Biscuit’ - The Compact Cape Gooseberry

The variety Biscuit grows very compact, so it is suitable for the balcony or a small garden. The fruit is a bit smaller than other varieties, but very numerous. When the ripeness of the fruit starts in the middle of June, it will fall off the plant in its lantern and can then be eaten or used straight away in recipes.

As the name of our variety 'Biscuit' already reveals, the aroma is defined with a clear biscuit vanilla note in the aftertaste. This "bonsai” among the Physalis plants with its 30 to 50 cm height is particularly interesting for those who prefer a mild, exotic taste.

(Big) Little Buddha - The Biggest Fruits

From the smallest to the largest variety – the variety, (Big) Little Buddha makes it clear that here is a giant among the Cape Gooseberry plants available. In fact, (Big) Little Buddha is up to 200 cm tall and produces accordingly many fruits, which are very big and have a nice surface and a round-flat form. In terms of colour, they have the golden glow of Physalis. Even more important is the taste, which is fruitier, so slightly more acidic than for example the variety ‘Biscuit’.

Fruttosa - The Fruitiest

Those who like it fruity will be very happy with 'Fruttosa'. This variety grows upright and vigorous, so it is an overall fast-growing fruit shrub. In early August, a little later than other varieties, the fruits are ready for harvest. But they fall off less quickly than other varieties, so you have to squeeze the fruits out of the calyx. You then get a medium-sized Cape Gooseberry with a nice yellow-orange colour. The taste of 'Fruttosa' is particularly refined, combining exotic fruitiness with sweet vanilla and an exotic coconut flavour.

Peters Best - The Best Flavour

In terms of the yield during the harvest and sweetness of the fruits, the variety 'Peters Best' is the leader. In the middle of July, you can enjoy 'Peters Best' with a yield of 200 to 450 fruits. These are medium-sized, round and subtly orange-coloured. The fruits are even sweeter than the variety '(Big) Little Buddah' and have no bitter aftertaste. So you can enjoy the wonderful aroma mix of coconut and vanilla wonderfully. Even the growth is pleasant because 'Peter's Best' grows wider, bushier and more compact than '(Big) Little Buddah'.

Planting and Caring for Cape Gooseberries

Location

Cape Gooseberries are not hardy, so they should be planted like young tomatoes in the bed after the frost in April or May. The location should be full sun, but the soil only moderately nutrient-rich, however loose and permeable. A slightly sandy soil is therefore very well suited. The location may be airy, and the day and night difference plays a greater role. Therefore, the yields in the field are higher than in the greenhouse.

Fertilise Cape Gooseberries Properly

When fertilising, one should not over do it, otherwise the Physalis will put its growth power into the growth of the shoots but not into the fructification. Fertilise in the bed only moderately and if the growth seems too weak, distribute compost on the bed.

Caring for Cape Gooseberries

Overall, the exotic plant from the Andes is amazingly robust. Last but not least, the delicious fruits are protected by the lantern cover from pests such as the spotted wing drosophila. In order to promote the health of the plant and to improve growth, it should be supported at a height of up to 50 cm.  If the plant grows larger than 50 cm, it should be pruned. The resulting shoots in the axillary buds can be removed.

In the annual cycle, Physalis are good plants because they grow, flower and fruit in the same year. Basically, they are perennial, but usually, like tomatoes, new seedlings are planted every year. This ensures the rich harvest yield. If there is no more space in the bed, Cape Gooseberries can also be planted in pots or containers. In general, a volume of 15 to 20 litres is suitable; the 'Biscuit' variety only needs 5 to 10 litres.

Overwintering Cape Gooseberries

Cape Gooseberries must be overwintered frost-free at 10°C, where it is cool and bright at the same time. Before overwintering, the plants should be radically cut back in October and November, leaving only the main shoots behind. Even though overwintering is more time-consuming, in good conditions the harvest yield in the second year can be higher. However, overwintering in a heated living room is not crowned with success. With mild to cool temperatures the Physalis plant only needs water occasionally.

Harvesting Cape Gooseberries

The harvest season in the Andes is from mid-July to August. But there are also attract latecomers that are harvested in September or even in October. When the Physalis fruit is ripe, the protective lanterns turn yellow-brown and the wilting colour gives a clear indication of the harvest. The stem also turns brown and eventually drops the fruit. Since this is the case, you need not be afraid of falling fruit. After opening the lantern, the Physalis berries are usually wonderfully round and undamaged.

Using Cape Gooseberries

The taste of the Cape Gooseberry is so delicious that it is best to nibble the fruits directly from the plant. Last but not least, it is a pleasure to unpack the Physalis from the lantern. But since the open lantern with the fruit in the centre is extremely decorative, you can and should use the Physalis to decorate delicious desserts. The content of vitamin A, B and C is extremely high, and the Cape Gooseberry can also help with bladder and kidney problems.

The conclusion is clear – the Cape Gooseberry is a particularly beautiful and healthy fruit with exotic flavours.

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