ABOUT: Cape Gooseberry
A wild growing plant that provides a lot of yellow fruits embedded into Chinese lanterns appearance. It grows wonderfully in temperate and tropical regions. They are a member of the Solanaceae family. Contains Vitamin C, K and beta-carotene. They have a large number of edible plants including the bringals (eggplants), tomatoes, potatoes, goji berries, bell peppers, chilli peppers and other members of the nightshade.
Scientific Name: Physalis peruviana
They have small yellow non-scented flowers with black halfway on its petals. They show a showy appearance from further distance and an attractive appeal to the garden too.
The fruit has a tangy sweet and sour taste which is yellow when ripe and is remove by hand gently when harvested.
These can be used for making sauces, chutney, jams, into pies, puddings/desserts, in and on ice cream, dried cape gooseberry snacks, with cheese starters and used in fresh salads or fruit salads.
This plant grows extremely well for hedges, shrubs/bushes and trained creepers.
- Take semi-hard cutting at 7 cm/2½ inches.
- Allow the cutting to dry for at least a day.
- Use rooting hormone to coat the bottom of the stem where you cut it.
- This will boost its growth and prevent root rotting.
- Plant into seedling pots filled with coco peat/well drained compost soil.
- Place in a sheltered area under direct sunlight (e.g. garage/patio/bathroom).
- Water moderately.
- Bring the plant outside to a protected area such as between other plants, under car ports etc.
- This will help it build vascular strength in its stem so it does not become sensitive to the wind and become damaged easily.
- When harvesting ripe yellow seeds.
- Simple squash open a few of your cape gooseberries until you see seeds.
- Dig a shallow hole and pop the squashed cape gooseberries into the holes.
- Water moderately and you’ll see them popping out the ground later on.
- Once the plant has established itself and looks healthy.
- Dig your hole where you wish to plant it, remember this grows wild, it needs lots of space. ( recommended for open spaces, slopes, cliffs,nearby lakes/ponds/creeks etc)
- Remove your plant from the plant carefully and place it into the hole you just dug.
- If you have volcanic ash on site, give it a dash of it to boost its growth.
- Cover it up and make a well near it to catch rain water/water when it can.