Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Virginia Ground-cherry - Physalis virginiana   P. Miller
Members of Physalis with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Solanales » Family Solanaceae
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AuthorP. Miller
DistributionEssentially throughout the mountains, Piedmont, and most of the Coastal Plain. Absent from the eastern counties, with no records yet east of Hertford and Beaufort counties.

This is a species of the Central and Eastern states, ranging from eastern Canada south to northern FL and NM.
AbundanceFairly common to frequent in the Piedmont and western Coastal Plain, including the Sandhills region. Infrequent in most of the mountains and the central Coastal Plain.
HabitatThis is a species of open woods, wooded margins, openings in forests, glades, and other places of partial shade.
PhenologyBlooms rather early for a Physalis, from April to May; fruits from June to July.
IdentificationThis somewhat familiar species grows to about 1.5' tall, with some branching. Stem and leaves are rather hairy, with curved hairs, but are not truly hispid with long straight hairs or sticky hairs as found in P. heterophylla and some others. The leaves are 2-3" long and half as wide, with distinctly cuneate bases; most other species have more rounded leaf bases. Margins are usually wavy or very shallowly lobed. The yellow, dangling flowers have large brown spots on the inside, near the base of the corolla.
Taxonomic CommentsNone, though RAB (1968) considered P. virginiana to consist of two varieties -- the nominate one and var. subglabrata (now named by nearly all references as P. longifolia).

Other Common Name(s)None
State RankS4 [S5]
Global RankG5
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