Underrated physalis

Underrated physalis

Physalis is a vegetable worth getting to know and love

Among the vegetable crops that are still not widely spread on the plots of amateur gardeners in the Leningrad Region, deserves close attention. physalis.

This culture was brought to Russia from South America, where it is quite widespread. The fruits of edible physalis are distinguished by their high taste and rich biochemical composition. They contain sugar, a significant amount of vitamin C, organic acids, trace elements, pectin substances.

Physalis is the only vegetable that has a gelling property and therefore is widely used in the confectionery industry. In addition, its fruits are used for fresh food, they are used to make jam, jam, jam, compote, caviar, they are salted, pickled.

Physalis fruits have long been used in folk medicine for kidney disease. It has choleretic, hemostatic and antiseptic properties.

Physalis is interesting for St. Petersburg vegetable growers in that it is less demanding on heat than tomato, and has a simple agricultural technique.

Physalis belongs to the nightshade family, as well as tomato, pepper, eggplant and potatoes. It got its name from the shape of the flower calyx (Fiza in Greek - bubble), which grows strongly and subsequently completely clings to the fruit like a cap.

Types and varieties of physalis

Physalis genus consists of 110 botanical species. Some types of physalis are cultivated for edible fruits, while others are cultivated as ornamental plants because of a beautiful, brightly colored cup, for example, garden perennial physalis, from which winter bouquets are made.

Garden physalis, judging by the literature, apparently isolated from a wild Asian species of a perennial plant with an annually growing stem, but with a smaller berry in a large cup brightly colored by autumn ("flashlight").

Physalis cultivars with edible fruits can be divided into two groups according to their botanical and economic properties.

Peruvian physalis depending on the place of origin and cultivation, it is also called Brazilian physalis, Colombian fish soup, Venezuelan topo-tono. The plants are perennial, demanding for heat, therefore they are cultivated only in the southern regions by seedlings. Propagated by seeds and rhizomes. The stem is erect, 70-200 cm high, slightly branching, densely pubescent. Leaves are ovate with finely serrated edges and with a long pointed tip 6-15 cm long. The calyx is bell-shaped. Peruvian physalis is a self-pollinator. Berry with a diameter of 10-15 mm, weighing 6-13 g, yellow, very tasty, sweet and sour, aromatic.

Strawberry Physalis or dwarf Cape gooseberry, Barbados physalis, strawberry tomato, frosty one-year-old, more early ripening (growing season up to 100 days) kind than Peruvian. It can be grown by sowing seeds in open ground, but better by seedlings, since frosts are destructive for plants.

Plants are low (35-45 cm) with creeping or semi-raised branches, densely pubescent. Leaves are medium in size, ovoid, fruiting calyx (cap) with a diameter of 2-3 cm, rounded-conical with five prominent ribs, deeply depressed at the base. The berry is 6-12 mm in size, weighing 3-5 g, amber-yellow, sweet with strawberry aroma, unripe - with a nightshade flavor.

Both Peruvian and strawberry physalis have been known in culture for a very long time (over 200 years), not only in America, but also in Europe, India and other regions. Both types can be used raw, dried as raisins, for compotes, puddings, for making jams and sweets, in candied form. Highly appreciated by the confectioners of Paris.

The second group of physalis with edible fruits includes vegetable species... These physalis are mainly of Mexican origin, therefore the vegetable physalis is also called Mexican. In Mexico, vegetable physalis has long been cultivated under the names "tomatil" and "miltomat", i.e. Mexican tomato. The local population uses unripe fruits for making hot sauces with pepper, mashed potatoes, boiled and baked, as well as for salting.

Mexican physalis

Annual, peripherally pollinated plant. Among vegetable physalis, there are semi-creeping forms (height 30-40 cm) with a branching angle of up to 140 °, as well as tall (over 1 m) with branches extending from the stem at an angle of 35-45 °.

Within the group there can be both early ripening and very late ripening plants with fruits weighing 30-90 g, green, white, yellow, yellow-purple, dark purple in color, flat, oval in shape, from highly ribbed to smooth, to taste - from sugary-sweet to spicy-sour with an unpleasant aftertaste. The cups (caps) of fruits are very diverse in shape, color and size - they are either too large, or, conversely, are torn apart by large fruits.

In general, Mexican physalis are more productive and less heat-demanding than physalis of South American origin.

In the Leningrad region, Physalis grows well in the open field and gives a yield of 2 to 4 kg / m². The best varieties are: strawberry physalis - Strawberry 573, Confectionery, Korolek, Gold placer; Mexican physalis - Moscow early, Ground mushroom, Kudesnik, Surprise, Philanthropist.

Growing physalis

In the conditions of our short summer and frequent spring and autumn frosts, physalis, like tomatoes, can be grown with preliminary distillation of seedlings. When growing seedlings, strawberry physalis is sown a little earlier than Mexican, since it is more thermophilic and grows slower in the conditions of the Leningrad region - in mid-April, and Mexican - at the end of April.

It takes only 25-30 days to distill Mexican physalis seedlings. Sowing is done by seeds naklyuvannye after dressing in a manganese solution in boxes in room conditions or in warm greenhouses and hotbeds. Seedlings of Mexican physalis can be successfully grown without picking, while seedlings of strawberry and Peruvian physalis, which develop more slowly, are better to pick. The feeding area for seedlings should be 5-6 cm in rows and 8-10 cm between rows.

If the crops turn out to be thickened, then they are thinned out, when the seedlings have 1-2 true leaves, while the remote strong seedlings are cut into free places.

It should be remembered that at high temperature and humidity, the seedlings of the Mexican physalis stretch out very quickly, often lie down and get sick with a black leg, but at a lower temperature of 15-17 ° C and good ventilation of the plants, strong, stocky and healthy seedlings develop. Caring for it consists mainly in loosening, good (not frequent) watering.

If the seedlings develop too slowly or stretch out into thin stalks, then it must be fed with an ecofossy - 4 g per 1 liter of water. By the time of planting in open ground, the plants should be strong, not elongated, with a well-developed root system and large buds. Therefore, at an outside air temperature of 10-12 ° C, the plants are hardened, leaving for a whole day in this mode.

Only when there is a threat of frost, the plants are brought into the room or covered with spunbond. For 10-12 days, make the last feeding of the seedlings with superphosphate (for 1 liter of water, 3 g of fertilizer). Before planting, when the seedlings are growing rapidly, the number of watering is reduced, however, preventing the plants from wilting.

Physalis seedlings are planted in open ground in late May-early June (7-10 days earlier than tomatoes). In the morning of the day of planting, it is watered abundantly so that the root system suffers less from mechanical damage. The plot is marked so that there are 3-4 Mexican physalis and 5-6 strawberry plants per 1m². It is best to plant plants in the ground in the second half of the day, and in cloudy weather, it is possible throughout the day. In humid areas, it is advisable to grow physalis on soils with a height of 30-40 cm in order to avoid the accumulation of stagnant water near the plants.

Under this culture allotted cultivated, well-lit by the sun areas that are not subject to flooding by rainwater. Acidic soils (pH below 4.5) are limed beforehand. Any crop can be a predecessor for physalis, except for potatoes.

Physalis loves loose, fertile, well-aerated soil that is not clogged with weeds. Therefore, the area intended for growing plants is dug up in the spring to a depth of 20-25 cm, having previously scattered rotted manure over it. The application of fresh manure under physalis can cause adverse effects, resulting in a strong growth of stems and leaves, as well as a delay in the formation of ovaries and ripening of fruits. On marginal soils, manure or compost is spread in a layer of 4-5 cm, which corresponds to 4-5 kg ​​/ m².

Physalis responds well to the introduction of mineral fertilizers, for soils of average fertility 80-100 g of ecofoski per 10 m².

During the growing season of physalis in open ground, the soil is kept loose and free from weeds. Depending on the development of plants, they are periodically watered and fed. The first feeding is given during the period of mass flowering, the second - during fruit formation, the third - after 2-3 weeks, using solutions of mineral fertilizers, as well as slurry (1 part of the fertilizer is diluted with 5 parts of water in dry weather and 3 parts in wet weather), cow (1:10), bird droppings (1:15). An ekofoska is used as a mineral fertilizer - 30-40 g per 10 liters of water. Consumption rate - 10 liters per 1 m².

Unlike the tomato, the physalis plant is not stepchild or tied up. On the contrary, it is necessary to strive to obtain more powerful, highly branching plants. Physalis fruits are formed in places where the stem branches, therefore, the more the plant branches, the higher the yield will be. Amateur vegetable growers can be advised to pinch the tops of the branches in the middle of the growing season in order to enhance branching and increase the number of fruits on the plants.

Plants affected by diseases are removed. It should be noted that physalis is still not a widespread crop, and therefore, compared to tomato or pepper, it is less susceptible to massive damage by diseases and pests.

Physalis harvest

Ripening of fruits begins from the lower tiers of plants: the higher the fruits are located, the younger and later they ripen. The moment of ripening can be determined by the drying and lightening of the caps, as well as by the aromatic smell and color of the fruit, characteristic of this variety. Ripe fruits tend to fall off. If the weather is dry, then they remain on the ground without damage. They deteriorate in rainy weather. It is not recommended to harvest the fruit after rain. Physalis can withstand slight autumn frosts.

However, frozen fruits are poorly stored, therefore it is safer to carry out the final harvest before the onset of frost. For long-term storage, the fruits can be removed slightly unripe.

Since unripe fruits can grow somewhat on plants, with a small number of plants grown, it is advisable to harvest the fruits together with the stem and branches before frost. Such plants are hung in a dry room.

After one or two weeks, they are examined and the grown fruits are collected. Healthy (non-frozen) fruits are stored in a dry, ventilated room in small trellised boxes. In this form, at a temperature of 1-4 ° C, unripe fruits can be stored all winter, ripe fruits - 1-2 months.

Nikolay Lapikov,
Doctor of Agricultural Sciences


TOP-8 interesting facts about physalis

Like any plant, physalis has its own "secrets" and superstitions, so we have brought the most interesting facts into a kind of list.

  1. Before you start eating physalis, it must be doused with boiling water, since the fruits have a sticky bloom due to the "cup" shell. Without this procedure, you will not be able to fully experience all the delights of the unique taste of physalis.
  2. Physalis grows as an independent plant, in which the fruits are "hidden" in an attractive shell, which grows and forms much faster than the fruit itself.
  3. It is by this cup that the maturity of the physalis fruit is determined, since it should change its color and gradually wither. If you notice that the "flashlight" has lost its former charm, then it's time to harvest.
  4. The yield of this plant is quite high, since more than 3 kg of fruits can be easily harvested from one bush.
  5. The main thing to remember is that physalis has a great taste and has a lot of useful properties only when ripe, otherwise you will not get either the first or the second.
  6. Physalis got its name not by chance, as it is a translation from Greek, because “fizo” is translated as “swollen”, which is very typical for fruits and their shells.
  7. Despite the fact that the plant has the shape of a bush and beautiful green shoulder straps, they are absolutely not interesting for the Colorado potato beetle, so planting physalis close to potatoes is a common practice.
  8. Among other things, you need to know that the shell should never be consumed, as well as overripe fruits, because a large amount of toxins can adversely affect your health.
  9. Superstition could not pass by physalis, since there is a belief that dry branches collected in a bouquet create a favorable atmosphere and comfort in the house, because physalis is able to drive away evil spirits and everything bad.

Physalis is not only a plant that has tasty and healthy fruits, but also a part of history with its own characteristics and superstitions.


Physalis: choosing varieties for growing

Modern cooking has improved and enriched itself so much with novelties and the results of the work of breeders that very often you can hear something new and original in your favorite jam or pickles. One of these extraordinary names is the physalis plant, which is very popular among connoisseurs, and mysteriously intrigues others with its name.

Physalis is a species of herb that belongs to the nightshade family. It is customary to divide physalis into two large groups: vegetable or berry. Each of the directions has its own characteristics, both in external characteristics, taste, and in applications. We present to your attention the popular varieties of physalis, which are worth growing on your personal plot this season.


How to grow edible physalis in the garden. (all varieties).

Physalis has many more names, here are some of them: Peruvian gooseberry, earthen cherry, strawberry tomato. If you decide to grow it on your site, the yield is guaranteed in any case.
Physalis is an annual herb from the nightshade family, it has two edible types: vegetable physalis and strawberry or berry physalis.
The edible physalis fruit is a fleshy yellow-green or orange-colored berry that looks like a very small tomato. The berries are tasty and ready to eat raw and processed.

Vegetable physalis, or physalis glukoplodny (Physalis ixocarpa) - gives tasty and juicy fruits. Edible forms include: pubescent physalis (Physalis pubescens), Florida physalis (Physalis floridana) and Peruvian physalis (Physalis peruviana). Physalis Peruvian in our latitudes can only be grown in greenhouses. Vegetable physalis can be small-fruited (Strawberry, Raisin, Bell) and large-fruited (Marmalade).

Physalis is still a rare culture. Long-standing domestic varieties, bred at the Gribovskaya Vegetable Breeding Experimental Station, are still rare in the beds of amateur vegetable growers.But the fruits of these varieties are valuable both in terms of the content of pectin substances and a balanced ratio of acids to sugars, suitable for soaking, salting, pickling and cooking vegetable caviar.

Physalis is grown on all types of soils, with the exception of strongly acidic ones, on which it develops poorly and is ill. Therefore, acidic soils must be limed.
On sandy soils, the fruits are tastier.
Physalis is not planted after potatoes, peppers and eggplant, since related crops suffer from the same diseases and pests.
Yes, and physalis plants develop in this case poorly due to unilateral depletion of the soil. If no fertilizer was applied to the predecessor, then before the autumn digging it is necessary to add rotted compost or peat at the rate of 4-5 kg ​​per 1 m2. In the spring, the soil is loosened and further maintained in a loose state.
A week before planting the seedlings, the site is dug to a depth of 15 cm, then the beds are leveled and marked. In central Russia, a planting scheme of 50X70 cm was adopted (between rows 70 cm, in a row between plants 50 cm).
Physalis root system penetrates into the underlying soil layers relatively quickly, and fertilizers, embedded superficially, will not be fully utilized by plants.

Physalis, like tomatoes, is grown through seedlings, but sowing with seeds in the ground in a permanent place is also possible. However, soil crops can only be on cultivated, slightly infested soils of the garden type.

Physalis seed germination decreases after 4 years of storage.

Seedlings appear at temperatures above 20 ° on the 7-9th day, at temperatures below 12 ° the seeds lie in the ground for a long time without germinating.
It will take only a month to receive seedlings.
The feeding area is 6X8 cm. At high temperature and humidity, the seedlings quickly stretch out and get sick with a black leg, and at a temperature of 16-18 ° and good ventilation, they develop strong, stocky and healthy. Seedling care consists in loosening, thinning, good (but not frequent) watering. If it develops slowly or stretches out, then it must be fed with a solution of bird droppings (1 part of droppings to 10 parts of water). For 1 m2, ½ a bucket of mortar is consumed. Then rinse the working solution with clean water to avoid burns.

The best time to plant seedlings is in the afternoon. Before planting, it is watered abundantly so that you can choose plants with a clod of earth without damaging the bulk of the roots. In cloudy weather, seedlings are planted at any time of the day. Plants are planted in a hole to a depth of 1 true leaf and watered immediately. For larger seedlings, first, 1-1.5 liters of water is poured into the hole and the plants are planted in damp soil somewhat deeper, and in an inclined position. The ground around the plant should be moist, firmly pressed against the roots.

Care is the same as for seedlings, except that weeding is added. Simple agricultural practices ensure a good harvest. With weak development or yellowing of the leaves, it is necessary in the second half of June, and then every 10-15 days, the plants should be fed. In damp and cold summers, as well as in low wet areas, physalis must be huddled so that the fruits ripen better and plant disease decreases. Physalis is not a stepchild or tied up. Fruits develop in places of branching of the stems, so the more branched and more powerful the bush, the higher the yield. Therefore, for seeds, the fruits are taken from strongly branching healthy specimens. To enhance branching and increase the number of fruits at the end of June, you can pinch the tops of the branches. Mexican physalis is readily visited by bees who collect bribes from flowers.

Edible Physalis varieties:

Physalis Pineapple
The fruit is miniature, it got its name for its aroma similar to that of pineapple. The berries are sweet in taste, rich aroma and early ripening variety. Suitable for fresh consumption and for drying, for making sweets.

Fizalis Gribovsky 2046.
The variety is medium early, yields are plentiful and cold-resistant. Fruits are yellow-green in color, rounded and slightly flattened.

Physalis Strawberry
The plant is up to 70 cm high. Small-fruited, amber-colored, sweet, with a strawberry flavor and the same aroma. Suitable for fresh and dried consumption, used for making desserts, boiling, canning.

Physalis raisin Surprise
A low-growing plant, an annual, rather unpretentious and early ripening. Pubescence is strong, it is also called pubescent physalis. Suitable for fresh consumption, and for making jams, compotes, etc.

Physalis Columbus
The bush is tall, the plant is classified as late-ripening and thermophilic. Suitable for fresh consumption, and for making jam, compotes. Berries are rich in vitamins, trace elements, pectin.

Physalis Confectionery 2047.
A high-yielding large-fruited variety of medium ripening. Fruits are sourish, round. The fruits can be either light green or dark green. Suitable for the preparation of marmalade, sweets, pat and other confectionery products, due to the high content of pectin substances.

Physalis Korolek
An early ripe variety, belongs to the vegetable physalis. Suitable for processing into caviar, jam, jam, candied fruit, dry wine, as well as for pickling and pickling.

Physalis the Magician
Mid-season thermophilic plant. Suitable for fresh consumption, as well as for making jam, compotes. Berries are rich in vitamins, trace elements, pectin.

Physalis Moscow early 2045.
The variety is very early, the fruits are large, yellow in color. Produces good yields. Suitable for salads, pickles, pickling, caviar, preserves, jam, marmalade, marmalade and candied fruit.

Physalis Sugar "Raisin"
Small-fruited early-ripening variety with a bright taste and aroma. Suitable for fresh and processed consumption

Physalis Vegetable Confectioner
Medium early grade. Fruits are flat-round, light green or yellow, rather large. Keeping quality is very good. Suitable for both fresh and processed form.

Physalis Plum jam
Very decorative medium early variety. The fruit is deep purple in color. To enhance the color, the fruits should lie in the sun. Suitable for both fresh and processed form.

Physalis Tomatillo
A mid-season variety, belongs to the Mexican physalis, gives very good yields, the fruits are yellow or yellow with lilac stains. Suitable for both fresh and processed form.

Physalis the Philanthropist
Mid-season variety, belongs to strawberry physalis. Fruits are round, light yellow, small, sweet taste, without acid. Ties fruit well in unfavorable conditions. Suitable for both fresh and processed form.

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Underrated physalis - garden and vegetable garden

A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF

The main decorative representatives of the genus are physalis ordinary and garden physalis , or Franchetti. The first one is often found throughout southern Europe, in the Crimea, in the Caucasus, in Turkmenistan.

The second comes from Japan and the countries of East Asia close to it. It is a perennial, herbaceous plant above 1 m. It has, like an ordinary one, a large bubbly, swollen calyx, found with fruits, of red or orange color. Franchetti is more decorative than his brother. The fruits of these physalis can be used for food, but they are unlikely to be liked - they are too small.

Among types of physalis with edible fruits: Peruvian (Peruvian, or pineapple cherry), pubescent (strawberry), gluten-fruited (Mexican, vegetable).

Have physalis pubescent fruits are yellow, small, very sweet, with the taste and aroma of strawberries.

Most common physalis mexican (vegetable). On the territory of the CIS, it is considered outlandish. However, many amateur vegetable growers managed to appreciate it by right.

Physalis varieties Mexican: Large-fruited, Moscow early, Gounty Goibovsky, Confectionery, Korolek.

Strawberry physalis varieties: Gold placer, Amber (created at the RUE “Institute of Vegetable Growing of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus”).

NUTRITIONAL AND HEALING VALUE

Mexican physalis fruit contain vitamin C, a lot of sugars, tannins, pectin and gelling agents. The taste is vaguely reminiscent of kiwi, gooseberry, strawberry. The fruits are eaten fresh, can be added to borscht. Caviar and canned food are prepared from them, they are salted and pickled like tomatoes.

Doctors recommend decoctions of physalis fruits as a diuretic, for stones in the kidneys and bladder, as well as for inflammation of the urinary tract, dropsy, gout, articular rheumatism.

REQUIREMENTS FOR GROWING CONDITIONS.

Physalis is not particularly demanding on heat. Seeds germinate at a temperature of 10-12 ° C, but the optimal temperature is 20-22 ° C. Young plants in spring and adults - in autumn endure short-term frosts. Temperatures below -3 ° C are destructive. Physalis is also undemanding to soils, provided that organic and mineral fertilizers are applied. However, it is hygrophilous.

Physalis Mexican - relatively shade-tolerant culture, it can be placed in a 60 x 60 layout, although an 80 x 80 cm layout is considered optimal.

Physalis strawberry prefers well-lit areas. The planting scheme is the same as that of vegetable physalis.

AGROTECHNICS OF GROWING

Before sowing for seedlings, the seeds are dipped for a day in a solution of trace elements, the next day they are slightly dried until flowable and they are sown in shallow containers. Peat is suitable as a substrate. Before sowing, the substrate is watered abundantly, slightly compacted, grooves are marked every 2 cm, but you can sow randomly. After sowing, the seeds are sprinkled with a layer of soil 0.5-1 cm, covered with glass, plastic wrap on top, and if the container is small, it can all be placed in a plastic bag. The container is placed in a dark, warm place with a temperature of 20-25 ° C and make sure that the seedlings do not appear in the dark. A temperature of 15-18 ° C is optimal for only germinated plants.

In the phase of the first true leaf, the seedlings dive into pots (peat, polyethylene) or into boxes with a distance of 10 cm in rows and between them. The plants are shaded until they take root. Then they give as much light as possible so that the seedlings do not stretch out. If the plants are stunted and pale in color, they are fed.

It is better to use complex fertilizers containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (30-50 g per 10 l of water). Physalis is responsive to feeding with organic fertilizers (manure 1:10, bird droppings 1:15). The duration of the seedling period is 40-45 days.

When planting seedlings at the end of May, sowing seeds to obtain it is carried out at the beginning of April. Three days before planting seedlings in open ground, they are hardened: watering is reduced, the plants are taken out first for a day, and then at night, outside. Water before planting. Planting is carried out in holes well watered with water.

During the growing season, the soil is loosened, weeds are regularly fought, the plants are fed and watered. The harvesting of fruits begins in late June - early July.

Physalis is grown without pinching and pruning. The more the plants branch, the more fruits are formed on them, and therefore during the period of mass flowering, you can pinch the tops of the shoots.

CLEANING AND STORAGE

The fruits are harvested at the stage of biological ripeness (the cup in which the fruit is placed begins to dry out). For long-term storage, the berries can be removed slightly unripe. Cleaning is done regularly.

Ripe fruits are scattered thinly with loin in a dry wooden container. In a well-ventilated room at a temperature of 1-4 ° C, they are stored (without removing the "flashlights" or covers) for 2-3 months. Unripe fruits in such conditions are stored all winter, gradually ripening.

DISEASES AND PESTS

Plants, albeit weakly, are damaged by polyphagous pests (bear, wireworm), as well as late blight, black spot and other nightshade diseases.

TO YOUR TABLE

Sweet dishes are most often prepared from strawberry physalis: marmalade, jam, compotes, preserves. It is the only vegetable whose fruit has gelling properties. Candied fruits made from whole fruits are especially tasty. Before cooking, they should be doused with boiling water to wash off the sticky substance.

In old culinary recipes, the following recipes are given: before use, the fruits are cooled for 24 hours on ice, and then, folded into an enamel bowl, doused, allowing to cool, twice with liquid sugar syrup, then boiled over low heat.

In addition, ripe fruits can be dried and dried, later used for compotes, pudding or pilaf.

Delicious (and rare) recipes

Vegetable caviar from Mexican physalis. Wash the physalis fruits and carrots. Peel carrots and onions. Finely chop all vegetables and fry in vegetable oil until the carrots are soft and the onions are golden brown. Pass the resulting mass through a meat grinder, add salt and spices.

You can not fry all these vegetables, but bake, and then pass through a meat grinder, etc.

For 1 kg of fruit - 400 g of carrots, 300 g of onions, vegetable oil, salt, spices.

Candied strawberry and Peruvian physalis. Cook the jam in a way that works for most berries. Drain the hot syrup through a sieve, and leave the fruits in the sieve for

24 hours. Put the fruits in sifted granulated sugar, mix, return to a sieve and, shaking, separate the excess sugar. Dry the fruits in the air or in the oven over low heat, opening the door and periodically turning the fruits over.


Watch the video: Top 10 Amazing Health Benefits of Physalis Cape gooseberry Fresh Fruit. fruit of the month