Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Longleaf Ground-cherry - Physalis longifolia   Nuttall
Members of Solanaceae:
Members of Physalis with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Solanales » Family Solanaceae
DistributionEssentially throughout the Mountains, though possibly absent in the southeastern portion along the Blue Ridge Escarpment. As the species ranges eastward into the VA Piedmont, it is to be looked for in the northwestern Piedmont of NC.

This is a widespread Midwestern species, though ranging from southern Canada and ME to central VA, AL, and TX.
AbundanceInfrequent to locally fairly common, at least close to the TN border, but seemingly rare along or close to the Blue Ridge Escarpment.
HabitatThis species occurs in upland, open woods and wooded margins and openings. It also grows in fields and in some disturbed places.
PhenologyBlooms from June to August, and fruits from August to October.
IdentificationThis is a medium-sized ground-cherry, reaching about 1.5 feet tall, with spreading branches. The stem and leaves are rather glabrous, or with short and appressed hairs -- but it certainly is not one of the hairy species in the genus. The leaves are ovate to lanceolate, about 2-3 inches long and about 1.5 inches wide, with nearly entire to wavy margins. The petioles are fairly long, and the anthers of the flowers are blue, as opposed to yellow in the related P. virginiana. That species blooms earlier than does P. longifolia, with that species flowering mainly from April into May, as opposed to June-August in this species.
Taxonomic CommentsRAB (1968) considered this as a variety -- P. virginiana var. subglabrata. Nearly all references did and still do consider it as a full species. Weakley (2018) lists the population in NC as P. longifolia var. subglabrata.

Other Common Name(s)Common Ground-cherry, Wild Tomatillo
State RankS3
Global RankG5
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