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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.


Annual from taproot or perennial herb from rhizome; hairs branched or not, glandular or not. Leaf: ± opposite or not, entire to pinnate-lobed. Inflorescence: flowers 1–few per axil, pedicelled. Flower: generally nodding; calyx 5-lobed, enlarged and persistent, bladder-like in fruit; corolla ± rotate to shallowly bell-shaped, generally ± yellow, often dark-spotted adaxially; stamens 5, attached to hairy band in tube, anthers free, generally < filaments, opening by slits; style generally straight. Fruit: berry, fleshy [dry]. Seed: many, 2–2.5 mm, ± spheric to reniform.
± 85 species: America, Eurasia, Africa, Australia. (Greek: bladder, from calyx in fruit) Unripe fruit often TOXIC. Needs study in western United States. Some species cultivated for edible or ornamental fruit.
Unabridged references: [Sullivan 1985 Syst Bot 10:426–444]

Key to Physalis

1. Flower ± erect; corolla purple; style curved ..... P. lobata

1' Flower generally nodding or otherwise not ± erect; corolla ± yellow to pale yellow; style straight

2. Leaf hairs branched; perennial herb

3. Corolla with 5 purple-brown spots at base adaxially or not ..... P. hederifolia var. fendleri

3' Corolla generally with 0 spots but with darker green veins adaxially ..... [P. viscosa]

2' Leaf hairs 0 or simple; annual, perennial herb, subshrub

4. Perennial herb or subshrub from rhizome

5. Anthers generally with some blue or purple ..... [P. longifolia]

5' Anthers yellow

6. Pedicel > flower, in fruit > calyx ..... P. crassifolia

6' Pedicel < flower, in fruit < calyx ..... P. hederifolia var. palmeri

4' Annual from taproot

7. Plant ± densely hairy ..... P. pubescens

8. Leaf 5–9 cm, ± thick, teeth many ..... var. grisea

8' Leaf 3–5 cm, thin, teeth 0–few ..... var. integrifolia

7' Plant glabrous to sparsely hairy

9. Corolla with 5 dark-purple spots adaxially; anthers twisted after opening ..... P. philadelphica

9' Corolla without spots adaxially; anthers not clearly twisted after opening

10. Corolla pale yellow with dark yellow center, 15–23 mm wide; leaf teeth < 7 mm; anthers 3 mm ..... P. acutifolia

10' Corolla yellow, 7–8 mm wide; leaf teeth 0 or < 3 mm; anthers 1–2 mm ..... P. lancifolia


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
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