Nature photography

Cape gooseberry plants with fruit under glass photographed in England in April

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Cape gooseberry (Physalis peruviana) plants forming a green wall over 2m high in a glass-house in England, 20 April 2023. Some of the light-coloured, hanging calyces or husks containing the berries are visible in the top left of the picture.

The photographs here show plants of cape gooseberry (Physalis peruviana) growing under glass in southern England in April 2023. They had grown through the winter in this unheated, double-glazed and south-facing space. With supports they reached the roof.

The scent of the fruit is strong and reminiscent of pineapple. At the time of these photographs, this space was filled with sweet, fruit-like scent which was not immediately recognisable (at least to me) as simply the flavour of the berries.

As the photographs show, these plants simultaneously had fruit at all stages of development, from the flower to the ripe fruit. They were producing a continuous crop.

The husks eventually drop off (or are very easily knocked off) the plant.

A bell-shaped yellow flower and a green calyx with the remains of its flower still hanging under it, on a cape gooseberry plant (Physalis peruviana) growing under glass in England, 20 April 2023.
Leaves and three different colours of calyx on the same stem of a cape gooseberry (Physalis peruviana) growing under glass in England, 21 April 2023. The calyx changes its colour with age.
A calyx from these plants, picked while still green and opened to show a green, unripe, cape gooseberry (Physalis peruviana). According to many websites in April 2023, the unripe berries are poisonous. The others in the picture are more mature.
A mature calyx or husk of cape gooseberry (Physalis peruviana) growing under glass in England, 20 April 2023. The ripe berry inside is partially visible through the light-coloured walls.
Fruit from cape gooseberry plants grown under glass in England and harvested in April 2023. The outside diameter of this bowl is ~9cm.

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