Physalis peruviana L.

Cape Gooseberry

Sp. Pl., edn 2, 1670 (1763) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Short-lived shrub to 1 m high, densely pubescent with simple or glandular hairs. Leaves alternate, 2 per node, ovate, mostly to 6 cm long, to 4 cm wide, apex acuminate, base cordate, margins entire or shallowly lobed; petiole to c. 5 cm long. Flowers on pedicels 6–12 mm long; calyx 7–10 mm long, lobes triangular-acuminate, 4–5 mm long; corolla 5-angled, 10–15 mm long, dull yellow, with conspicuous purplish blotches in throat alternating with anthers; anthers 4–5 mm long; style 5–7(–11) mm long, stigma capitate. Fruiting calyx 10-angled, 27–40 mm long, pale yellow-green to gold, drying pale brown; berry globose, 10–20 mm diam.; seeds lenticular, 1.7–2 mm long, yellowish. Flowers mainly spring to summer.

*EGL, *EGU, *GipP, *Glep, *GGr, *HNF, *HSF, *OtP, *OtR, *Strz. Also naturalised WA, SA, Qld, NSW, Tas. Native to northern and western South America. Widespread, often as a garden-escape, particularly in coastal and near-coastal areas where found in disturbed sites.

Often cultivated for its edible fruit.

Source: Jeanes, J.A. (1999). Solanaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-02-23
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Asteranae
order Solanales
family Solanaceae
genus Physalis
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Physalis peruviana in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Physalis peruviana in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Glenelg Plain present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Otway Plain present naturalised
Greater Grampians present naturalised
East Gippsland Lowlands present naturalised
East Gippsland Uplands present naturalised
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised
Highlands-Northern Fall present naturalised
Otway Ranges present naturalised
Strzelecki Ranges present introduced

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory