Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Gray Ground-cherry - Physalis grisea   (Waterfall) M. Martinez
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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Author(Waterfall) M. Martinez
DistributionScattered over most of the Mountains and Piedmont, at least to Person, Chatham, and Lee counties, and thus perhaps absent in the far northeastern Piedmont.

This is a species of the Eastern states, poorly known or collected, from eastern Canada and ME south to FL and TX, but with only scattered records for many states.
AbundanceSomewhat rare to uncommon over the Mountains and Piedmont, and generally poorly known or collected. Likely overlooked as several other species.
HabitatThis is a species of mesic soils, of open wooded slopes and edges, but it also can occur in disturbed places.
PhenologyBlooms from July to September, and fruits from August to October.
IdentificationThis is a distinctive hoary or gray-green species of Physalis, owing to very dense hairs over most of the stem and leaves. The plants grow to about 1.5 feet tall, with some branching. The leaves are ovate, very different in size over the plant, the largest about 3 inches long and 2 inches wide, with low to moderate teeth on the margins. The yellow flowers dangle like others in the genus, about 1-inch across. The fruiting "pod" is strongly 5-angled and about 1-inch long. A few other species are somewhat similar; check Weakley (2018) for separation features.
Taxonomic CommentsRAB (1968) named this as a variety -- P. pubescens var. grisea. Older references gave it species status, typically named as P. pruinosa. Most references now name it as P. grisea.

Other Common Name(s)Hairy Ground-cherry, Strawberry-tomato
State RankS3
Global RankG5?
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