Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Walter's Ground-cherry - Physalis walteri   Nuttall
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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DistributionStrictly coastal, occurring in all eight coastal counties.

The species occurs throughout FL, but northward it is strictly coastal, to southeastern VA; west to southern MS.
AbundanceFairly common to frequent within its narrow NC range.
HabitatIn the state it is limited to sandy soil of dunes, sand flats, and openings and edges of maritime forests and shrub thickets.
PhenologyBlooms from May to September, and fruits soon after flowering.
IdentificationThis is one of the shorter ground-cherries, reaching about 1 foot tall, widely branching. It is pubescent over the entire plant. The leaves are elliptic to ovate, rounded at the tip, and entire on the margins; they range to about 2 inches long and 1-inch wide. All other Physalis in the state have toothed, lobed, or wavy leaf margins. The flowers are typical of the genus, bell-shaped, dangling downward, and yellow in color. This is the most easily identified of the state's nine native species of the genus owing to its strictly maritime sand habitats and the entire leaves.
Taxonomic CommentsThe species was often named as P. viscosa in former years.

Other Common Name(s)Dune Ground-cherry
State RankS3
Global RankG4
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B.A. SorrieInterdune sandflat, route 12 N of Rodanthe, May 2012. DareBILPhoto_natural
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