Seed of the Week: Tomatillo

Our mystery seeds from last week were from a tomatillo or Mexican groundcherry, Physalis philadelphica.

Perhaps this photograph by Jose Hernandez @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database would have been easier to identify?

The fruit of the tomatillo is unusual because it is covered by a papery calyx.

The fruit on the left is how it looks on the plant, the fruit on the right has had the calyx removed.

Another unusual trait of the tomatillo is that the fruit is sticky once the calyx is removed. The stickiness is easy to remove by washing the fruit.

Other members of the genus Physalis, or groundcherries, also have papery husks over the fruit.

This one is a common weed.

The flowers have a similar shape.

In this video, you can see the plants growing in a garden. They are relatively easy to grow.

Tomatillos are often used in salsa, sauces and soups, like this green pozole (a similar recipe at Martha Stewart).

Have you ever grown tomatillos?

What is your favorite way to eat them?

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