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Plant Information

Scientific Name: Physalis ixocarpa
Alternative Names: Husk Tomato

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Physalis ixocarpa
Physalis ixocarpa
Physalis ixocarpa
Physalis ixocarpa


  • Annual
  • Part of the Solanaceae (nightshade) family and closely related to the tomato.
  • Sprawling annual with heart-shaped leaves - grows more compact and upright than Tomatillo Mexican Strain.
  • Bears purple fruit the size of a very large marble surrounded by a thin paper-like husk, formed from the calyx.
  • If kept picked, the plants keep setting new fruit until frost.
  • Highly self-incompatible - two or more plants are needed for proper pollination - isolated tomatillo plants rarely set fruits.
  • Full sun - needs support to keep the fruit off the ground.
  • Space 18 to 24 inches apart - spacing plants too close, cuts down air circulation and promotes disease.
  • Feed plants regularly, and switch over from nitrogen to higher phosphorous and potassium as the plants grow, to promote flowering and fruit set.
  • Time from planting to harvest is about 100 days.
  • Can be grown as container plants.

Culinary Uses

  • Tomatillos are meatier than tomatoes.
  • Unripe fruit is a bit tart, slightly sweet, earthy, with a hint of citrus and is the key ingredient for Mexican table chili sauces known as salsa verde (green sauce).
  • Fully ripe fruits are eaten raw, like tomatoes or it can be dried like raisins.
  • Tomatillos can be used to accompany prepared dishes or be used as ingredients in various stews, soups, preserves, pies, jams and other mexican recipes.
  • Decorative as a garnish.

Parts Used

  • The fruit.
  • Fully ripe fruit will fall from the plant.
  • Edible at any stage - ripe when the paper-like husk turns brown and breaks open.
  • Will keep in the refrigerator for about two weeks - may also be frozen whole or sliced.

Medicinal Uses. It is said that

  • Old North American Indian Herb - used to treat worms, snakebites and earaches.
  • Tomatillos are nutritious - they contain Vitamins A and C as well as niacin.
The information contained within this website is for educational purposes only. This site merely recounts the traditional uses of specific plants as recorded through history. Always seek advice from a medical practitioner.

Mountain Herb Estate, and its representatives will not be held responsible for the improper use of any plants or documentation provided. By use of this site and the information contained herein you agree to hold harmless Mountain Herb Estate, its affiliates and staff
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