Cape Gooseberry- Tropical South American Plant

The cape gooseberry is a tropical South American plant.

It was used by the Incas and is one of the plants that is said to have contributed to their longevity. It is also found in other parts of the world, such as China, South Africa and England. It thrives in all these regions despite the differences in climate. It is even seen on occasion in Jamaica, where it grows after popping up in gardens.

English: Golden berry or Cape gooseberry, physalis peruviana. Svenska: Guldbär eller kapkrusbär, physalis peruviana. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cape gooseberry fruit are small, round and yellow in appearance. Some have described the fruit as a perfect yellow egg yolk. Each fruit resembles a small plummie tomato. However, unlike those tomatoes, which are red in color, cape gooseberry fruit are yellow. The fruit is a relative of tomatoes, eggplants and other members of the nightshade family.

People who eat the fruit fresh say that it has a flavor that is a blend of tomato and pineapple. The fruit is rich in cryptoxanthin, an antioxidant. Cryptoxanthin can be converted to Vitamin A inside the body. Studies have shown that this powerful antioxidant also reduces the risk of lung cancer and colon cancer. This substance is also found in egg yolk, butter, papaya and tangerines.

Uchuva or Cape gooseberry fruit (Physalis edulis) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cape gooseberry is also known by the following names in different countries:

  • Inca berry
  • Uvilla
  • Uchuva
  • Pok pok
  • Giant ground cherry
  • Golden berry
  • Aztec berry
  • Poha
  • Ras bhari

These herbaceous plants usually do not grow higher than about 3m. Some are as short as 30 centimeters. They need a lot of water. The ripe fruit are sometimes used to decorate cheese cake and may be used to make a sauce to accompany fish. People also make the dried fruit into chutney.

Physalis peruviana (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They resemble tomato plants but are stiffer so they can stand up above the ground without the need of external support. They do well when they receive full sun and do not like the cold. 

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15 Responses to “Cape Gooseberry- Tropical South American Plant”
  1. sheilanewton Says...

    On October 21, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Interesting article. I’d never heard of the Cape Gooseberry before. English gooseberries are hairy and green in colour. They taste sour and dry. But microwave a bunch of them for half a minute or so with a good lathering of sugar – and you’ve got yourself the most amazing gooseberry jam in the world!!!!

  2. SharifaMcFarlane Says...

    On October 21, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Thanks for the tasty tip ;-)

  3. lauralu Says...

    On October 21, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    Good post something new to me thanks.

  4. manish007 Says...

    On October 22, 2012 at 2:21 am

    Good information and nice pics.
    Thanks for share.

  5. Eunike Says...

    On October 22, 2012 at 2:44 am

    Wonderful plant

  6. Eunike Says...

    On October 22, 2012 at 2:46 am

    Wonderful plant.

  7. shefaliarora Says...

    On October 22, 2012 at 2:51 am

    Well. you have explained pretty deep about this plant.

  8. Peter Law Says...

    On October 22, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    beautiful plant. love it

  9. Tiki33 Says...

    On October 22, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Tomato and pineapple are some unique combinations. I have never at the pleasure of tasting this fruit. Thanks for providing this information.

  10. Starpisces Says...

    On October 23, 2012 at 7:43 am

    very new to me too, wonderful post once again, Sharifa.

  11. SharifaMcFarlane Says...

    On October 25, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Thanks Star

  12. gaby7 Says...

    On October 27, 2012 at 6:42 am


  13. papaleng Says...

    On October 28, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Interesting info. I have seen this fruit in most local grocery stores in our place. I taught all along that it’s a yellow tomato.

  14. LadyElena Says...

    On October 31, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Thanks. It’s nice to learn about different plants and hese days, sometimes I run out of what to teach kids about Science. I can always visit your articles. :)

  15. septana Says...

    On December 26, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    very good article and provide benefits

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