Those who got physalis are happy. Its fruits are consumed both fresh and in the form of caviar, jelly, pickles, preserves and marmalades. It is especially tasty when dried and dried. What is this plant, and where does it come from?
In the wild, physalis is found in Central and South America, where it reproduces by self-sowing as a weed. The local population "tamed" him here long ago, introduced him to culture. Physalis is very popular in Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia: a large number of fruitful varieties adapted for growing on plains and in the mountains have been developed. It was from here that physalis, or, as it is also called, Mexican tomato, was brought to North America, and in the 17th century to Europe and Asia. Physalis entered Russia almost simultaneously with tomatoes, but did not become widespread. This is how it was until recently.
Interest in physalis has increased in our country in the 20-30s. In 1926, a prominent breeder S.M.Bukasov, during a trip to Mexico and Guatemala, collected a large collection of nightshades, including physalis. At all experimental stations of the VIR began to study physalis as a vegetable crop. It was found that the Mexican tomato can be grown in our country everywhere, but especially successfully in Ukraine and the Far East. And physalis stepped onto the plantation. Already in 1934, its area reached 5000 hectares, of which 3000 hectares in the Far East. Somewhat later, the first Soviet varieties were developed for the confectionery industry and especially for the production of citric acid. Then the interest in the new product faded, the crops decreased, and now physalis is grown mainly on personal plots. And that's not everywhere.
Physalis is a botanical relative of potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant. There are three groups of physalis - food (vegetable), decorative and medicinal.
Конечно, для огородников наибольший интерес представляют овощные физалисы, прежде всего Мексиканский, Земляничный, Перуанский и некоторые другие. Но прежде несколько слов о декоративных. Они у нас представлены следующими видами - алькекенги, флексуоза, франшетии и лонгифолия. Алькекенги известны больше как китайские фонарики. Чашечки у них желтого, оранжевого или красного цвета. Декоративность их сохраняется в течение года. Аль-кекенги легко размножаются семенами и делением куста. Симпатична в одиночных посадках лонгифолия. Ее высота 2 м, куст сильно ветвится, стебли имеет прямостоячие, толстые, цветки крупные с голубым венчиком. Чашечка (фонарики) орехового цвета с сильно разросшимися ребрами. Цветки обладают интересной биологической особенностью: открываются в 12 час, а закрываются в 16.
Medicinal and vegetable physalis have diuretic, choleretic, hemostatic and analgesic properties. They are especially widely used in traditional medicine in Central and South America. In addition, alkekengs, prethermis, and franchettes provide organic dyes.
In our country, vegetable physalis are represented by annual varieties. According to biological characteristics, food physalis are divided according to the place of origin into South American and Mexican.
The South American forms have small, sweet, and aromatic berries. Plants are self-pollinating, with densely pubescent stems and leaves. Here, this form is represented by varieties of strawberry and Peruvian physalis.
Strawberry physalis got its name for its pleasant smell, for the strong pubescence of all parts of the plant, it is also called pubescent. Popularly known as earthy cranberries and raisins. Strawberry Physalis is an annual, its stem is highly branched, up to 50-70 cm long. The shape of the bush is almost creeping. Leaves are oval, slightly corrugated. This physalis is propagated by seeds, sown in the ground. This is in the southern regions, and in the more northern regions it is cultivated through seedlings. After all, strawberry physalis is very demanding on heat, the seeds begin to germinate at a temperature of at least 15 degrees. In addition, this type of physalis is short-day, that is, plants develop well only with a short southern day. In conditions of a long northern day, the growing season is extended. And only the race, which provides the seedling method, allows you to get ripe berries here too.They are small, yellow in strawberry physalis. In the conditions of Western Kazakhstan (Aral Experimental Station VIR), the yield from a bush on irrigation reached 1.5 kg (300-600 or more berries). The most interesting varieties are Strawberry and Izyumny. Berries of strawberry physalis are sweet, vitamin, they are very fond of fresh children. You can make jam and raisins from them. Before eating, they do not require blanching, since they do not have a sticky substance on the fruits, unlike the Mexican and Peruvian ones.Before eating, they do not require blanching, since they do not have a sticky substance on the fruits, unlike the Mexican and Peruvian ones.Before eating, they do not require blanching, since they do not have a sticky substance on the fruits, unlike the Mexican and Peruvian ones.
Our gardeners also fell in love with the Peruvian physalis. He comes from Peru, where it is cultivated as a berry crop. It appeared in Russia at the beginning of the 19th century. It has not yet received wide distribution, which is associated with its biology. This plant is very heat demanding. Even in the southern and subtropical regions, it is propagated by seedlings. Seeds germinate at a temperature of 20 degrees, plants are demanding on moisture and soil. The leaves of the Peruvian physalis are large, the flowers are small, pale yellow with a dark brown spot at the base. The berries are small, enclosed in an overgrown nut-colored cap. The berries taste sweet and sour with a pineapple smell. There are forms with a slight orange scent. The growing season is long. The berries begin to ripen only in the second half of September. Late maturity adversely affects the yield. Interesting,that in subtropical conditions this physalis is not threatened by freezing in winter, and in the second year of life, flowering begins early, in May, and the fruits ripen in mid-summer.
The Mexican physalis is more widespread. Several varieties of it are known - branched, spreading, spreading and inclined. In terms of its biological characteristics, the Mexican physalis is close to tomatoes, but in comparison with them it is more cold-resistant, drought-resistant, less light-requiring. Grows on all soils, except for strongly acidic, saline and waterlogged. The high drought resistance is due to the strong root system. As a shade-tolerant plant, this physalis is well-behaved; feels in the aisles of other crops. The increased cold resistance allows the Mexican physalis to move far north. He suffers from the same diseases as tomatoes - late blight, black leg, and from pests it is affected by wireworm and winter scoop.
The shape of the bush is erect, half-stem and half-creeping. Significant differences are also observed in height: undersized bushes reach only 30-50 cm, tall ones - 120-125 cm. Particularly large differences between varieties are observed in the color of the tops: there are dark green, green, yellowish, purple. Fruit weight reaches 50-60 g. There are from 50 to 500 of them on the bush. The varieties Moscow Early, Gruntovy Grubovskiy, Konditerskiy and Local yellow-flowered, cultivated in the Amur Region, are distinguished by their yield.
The variety of forms, types and varieties of physalis allows amateur vegetable growers to select what suits them best in specific conditions.