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Old 08-03-2017, 03:27 PM
 
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...and while everything I've read tells me to find the cherries inside the little green lanterns, they never, ever tell you how to tell if the cherries inside are ready to eat. How do I know when to pick them?




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Old 08-03-2017, 04:51 PM
 
Location: British Columbia
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Ground cherries are ready to harvest when the husk has changed from light green to white and feels thin and papery. The ripe fruit inside the husk will ideally be a light golden orange colour and should have a feel of tenderness to it instead of feeling hard when you gently squeeze it. If for some reason you have to pick them before they are completely yellow/orange and ripe, with still some green colour to them, you can remove the husks and finish ripening the berries indoors the same way you can finish ripening tomatoes indoors. Very often the entire husks and/or berries inside will drop to the ground when they're ripe so you need to check the ground under the plants each day to ensure you don't miss any.


Here is some extra information about harvesting, and it has pictures: http://gardenerd.com/blog/growing-an...ound-cherries/


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Last edited by Zoisite; 08-03-2017 at 05:03 PM..
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Old 08-03-2017, 04:58 PM
 
Location: Richardson, TX
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What do they taste like? The Ingalls family made groundcherry preserves to be eaten on biscuits, so I always imagined a jam.
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Old 08-03-2017, 05:17 PM
 
Location: British Columbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debsi View Post
What do they taste like? The Ingalls family made groundcherry preserves to be eaten on biscuits, so I always imagined a jam.

The flavour is hard to describe, sweet but also a sharp tartness to it and rather like a combination of juicy tomato, pineapple, gooseberry, apple, orange, yellow plum, mango, peach, nectarine. I really think that how ever many flavours you can taste depends a lot on their locations and growing conditions and how much sun exposure and adequate water they get. There are noticeable differences between those grown in the south and those in the north but they are all a tasty medley.


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Old 08-03-2017, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Somewhere, out there in Zone7B
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Do you know variety you have growing??? Have them growing as well. Hoping the squirrels and chipmunks don't get them this year, they got them all last year.

BTW, they seed themselves, I pull up volunteers all over!
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Old 08-04-2017, 01:48 PM
 
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I think they also spread by underground runners. The root tips seem to send up new stems hither and yon; I got them so late last fall that there was no chance for them to lantern up or drop a seed.


I have no idea what variety they are, or if they're anything fancier than the wild kind. The friend who gave them to me had no idea they were edible and had been wiping them out yearly with Round-Up before I intervened. How many different kinds are there, even?


Thanks for the feedback everyone, I'm keeping a close eye on the little lanterns. The berries inside are still so small I can't even feel them yet.


Now, here's a related question: I read online that you can also eat the berries that form inside the orange lanterns on a Chinese Lantern plant. We had those when I was a kid and my mom and dad warned me that I would die hideously if I even thought about eating any part of the plant. So at this point I'm curious, but skittish.


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Old 08-05-2017, 09:28 PM
 
Location: Richardson, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
The flavour is hard to describe, sweet but also a sharp tartness to it and rather like a combination of juicy tomato, pineapple, gooseberry, apple, orange, yellow plum, mango, peach, nectarine. I really think that how ever many flavours you can taste depends a lot on their locations and growing conditions and how much sun exposure and adequate water they get. There are noticeable differences between those grown in the south and those in the north but they are all a tasty medley.


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Very interesting! Thanks for answering my question. I'm not sure if that flavor sounds good, to be honest, but I think it would be worth trying at least once.

This article mentions them, so I must be able to grow them in Dallas, but I'll have to do some more research about how and when to plant them, unless some great advice is forthcoming in this thread.

https://www.dallasnews.com/life/gard...d-plants-plate
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Old 08-06-2017, 09:20 AM
 
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My grandmother grew ground cherries and made wonderful jam and pies. The flavor is very unique and hard to describe. But she did use a lot of sugar so they must be a bit bitter plain. I remember waiting for the ground cherries to ripen with papery brownish husky and soft greenish translucent berries.

She also grew the orange ones and we never ate them, so I wouldn't try.
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Old 08-06-2017, 12:40 PM
 
Location: British Columbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffie View Post


Now, here's a related question: I read online that you can also eat the berries that form inside the orange lanterns on a Chinese Lantern plant. We had those when I was a kid and my mom and dad warned me that I would die hideously if I even thought about eating any part of the plant. So at this point I'm curious, but skittish.


Chinese lantern (Physalis alkekengi) is another plant, like ground cherry, which is in the Physalis genus and there is around 90 species within the genus, they are all in the Solanaceae (nightshade) family.

The fruits of plants in this Solanaceae family that are cultivated for consumption (like tomatoes and potatoes and eggplants for example, as well as the many types of ground cherries, Chinese lantern, etc.) are ALL toxic if they are not fully ripened before consuming them.

You can find information here about the safe edibility and the toxicity of all the Physalis plants, scroll down the list to find the common names and habits of whichever types of Physalis plants you have growing:

General information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physalis


List of Physalis plants: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physalis#Diversity


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