Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Cutleaf Ground-cherry - Physalis angulata   L.
Members of Solanaceae:
Members of Physalis with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Solanales » Family Solanaceae
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DistributionThroughout the Coastal Plain, and also over most of the southeastern Piedmont; ranges northwest to Stokes, Iredell, and Catawba counties. One Mountain county record. Seems to be slowly expanding the range westward.

Apparently native north to southeastern VA and to KS; ranges south to the Gulf Coast. Some references may suggest that it is adventive to our area, but Weakley (2018) considers it native in NC.
AbundanceFrequent to common in most of the Coastal Plain; infrequent in the southeastern Piedmont, but rather rare in the western portions and very rare in the mountains.
HabitatThis is a Physalis of mostly disturbed, ruderal habitats, thus giving a reason for its uncertain nativity in our area. It occurs in weedy fields, vacant lots, and roadsides -- usually in somewhat sandy soil.
PhenologyBlooms from August to October, and fruits soon after flowering.
IdentificationThis is a medium-sized herb growing to about 1.5 feet tall, with some branching. It is generally smooth to somewhat pubescent but is not strongly hispid like many others in the genus. The leaves tend to be opposite, or simply opposite from a branch. Leaves are ovate to elliptic, about 3 inches long and half as wide, with distinctly large teeth with sharp tips. All other NC species have only low teeth or rounded lobes as opposed to large, triangular teeth. The flowers of all Physalis are similar, being mostly single from leaf axils, dangling on curved pedicels, light to medium yellow, facing downward; the shape is somewhat bell-shaped. In this species, the flowers are rather small, about 3/4-inch across. This species can often be seen along the margins of croplands in the Coastal Plain.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Smooth Ground-cherry, Wild Gooseberry
State RankS4 [S5]
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpFACU link
USACE-empFAC link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Photo Gallery
B.A. SorrieSame data. MoorePhoto_natural
B.A. SorriePiedmont, vacant lot by RR, Glendon, late Aug 2020. MoorePhoto_natural

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