Herbs annual or perennial, glabrous or pubescent with simple hairs. Leaves mostly equal, sometimes paired, simple, petiolate; leaf blade membranous, entire, denticulate or sinuate. Inflorescences solitary flowers in leaf axils or branch forks. Flowers actinomorphic, 5-merous. Calyx campanulate. Corolla yellow or white, often with a contrasting eye, rotate or rotate-campanulate, subentire or lobed. Stamens shorter than corolla, inserted at base of corolla tube; filaments sometimes expanded at base; anthers dehiscing longitudinally. Ovary 2-locular, ovules numerous. Stigma minutely 2-lobed. Fruiting calyx becoming enlarged, inflated, entirely enveloping fruit, membranous or leathery, with 5 or l0 longitudinal ribs, base often invaginated. Fruit a juicy globose berry. Seeds numerous, compressed, discoid or reniform, minutely pitted; embryo coiled, subperipheral.
Hierbas anuales o perennes o arbustos pequeños, mayormente ramificados, inermes, pubescencia mayormente de tricomas simples. Hojas solitarias o en pares, simples, enteras o dentadas; pecioladas. Inflorescencias de flores solitarias (raramente varias) en las axilas de las hojas o dicotomías de las ramas, pedúnculos ausentes, flores actinomorfas, 5-meras; cáliz cupuliforme, subcónico o infundibuliforme, lobado y envolviendo el fruto; corola rotácea a campanulada, a menudo levemente lobada (raramente hasta la mitad), plegada, amarilla y frecuentemente maculada en la base por dentro; filamentos insertos cerca del ápice del tubo, anteras oblongas o elipsoides, amarillas o a veces azuladas, dehiscencia longitudinal; ovario 2-locular, óvulos numerosos. Fruto una baya globosa y jugosa, cáliz fructífero acrescente y envolviendo a la baya, a menudo laxamente, típicamente 5- ó 10-angulado, verde o morado; semillas numerosas, discoides, con el embrión enrollado.
Género ampliamente distribuido con ca 100 especies mejor representadas en México; 12 especies en Nicaragua. La mayoría de las especies son malezas en terrenos alterados. Unas pocas especies se cultivan por sus frutos comestibles. "Popa".
U.T. Waterfall. Physalis in Mexico, Central America and the West Indies. Rhodora 69: 83–120, 203–239, 319–329. 1967; M. Martínez. Revision of Physalis section Epeteiorhiza (Solanaceae). Anales Inst. Biol. Univ. Nac. Auton. México, Bot. 69: 71–117. 1998.
Unarmed herbs or rarely shrubs, pubescent with simple, often glandular or viscid, rarely dendritic hairs, sometimes sarmentose. Leaves simple and entire, shallowly toothed or lobed; petiolate; minor leaves when present resembling the major leaves. Inflorescence axillary, bracts obsolete, pedicels solitary or rarely in small fascicles, often elongating and cernuus in fruit. Flowers perfect and mostly nodding, calyx valvate, 5-lobed, accrescent and loosely enveloping the fruit or nearly so, remaining flexible or becoming woody-chartaceous; corollas yellow (Panama), often marked in the throat, funnelform -or rotate, sometimes reflexed, induplicate-valvate, the margin nearly entire or with 5 short, ovate-deltoid to subulate lobes; stamens mostly equal, the filaments inserted in the corolla tube, pubescent or not, the anthers all fertile, yellow or with various amounts of blue or purple and drying greenish, oblong-ovoid, basifixed, opening by longitudinal slits, in some species twisting and curling, the connective not apparent; ovary 2-locular, the many ovules anatropous, the style exserted, the stigma small. Fruit a juicy or fleshy, slightly stalked, many-seeded berry, glabrous but some- times viscid; seeds compressed, slightly rugose, the embryo circinnate at the periphery of the seed.
Disk annular, adnate to and surrounding the basal part of the ovary, to none.
Flowers solitary, extra-axillary or appearing axillary (elsewhere occasionally up to several flowers in small, axillary fascicles or rarely in terminal pseudoracemes), actinomorphic; pedicel slender, often elongated and drooping or nodding in fruit; bracts obsolete.
Calyx often as long as the corolla tube, campanulate or sometimes tubular-campanulate, 5-lobed to sub-truncate, the lobes if present as long as or shorter than the tube, often splitting at the sutures, conniving at the apex, with valvate aestivation; in fruit much enlarged and usually bladdery-inflated, often splitting at the sutures, loosely enclosing it (or elsewhere nearly so), 5- or 10-angled to -ribbed, sometimes ± terete, reticulate, often invaginated basally, contracted apically with a small opening surrounded by the lobes, remaining membranous or becoming chartaceous.
Corolla yellowish to whitish, often blotched with 5 darker markings, campanulate, rarely infundibular-rotate (or elsewhere shortly infundibular); tube short, ± hairy inside above insertion of stamens and ± glabrous; limb plicate, subentire, sinuate, 5-angled or shortly and widely 5-lobed (to exceptionally 5-parted elsewhere), sometimes ± reflexed; lobes ovate-deltate (to subulate elsewhere), with imbricate-quincuncial aestivation.
Stamens 5, mostly ± equal, usually inserted near the base of the corolla tube, ± included or slightly exserted; filaments slender (to nearly as wide as the anthers elsewhere), often ± straight, pubescent or glabrous; anthers oblong or linear-oblong to ovate in outline, straight or occasionally twisting and curling after anthesis, free or sometimes conniving, attached on the lower part of the back or at the base between the thecae, dehiscing by longitudinal slits.
Ovary 2-locular; ovules hemicampylotropous, few–numerous in each locule on a much enlarged, subglobose placenta adnate to the dissepiment near the axis; style slender to stout; stigma capitate to nearly truncate, sometimes 2-lobed to -lamellate, included or exserted.
Herbs or more rarely shrubs, sometimes sarmentose, glabrous to hairy; indumentum varied and often intermixed, the hairs multicellular (“jointed”) and short, unicellular, simple or occasionally stellate, often glandular or viscid, more rarely branched, also stipitate or sessile glands; rhizomatous structures sometimes present.
Fruit baccaceous, mostly ± globose, sessile or sometimes on a short gynobase, juicy or fleshy, often thin-walled, sometimes viscid, 2-locular.
Leaves solitary, alternate, sometimes 2 or 3 appearing together, one larger than the others, petiolate, entire to coarsely lobed, rarely pinnatifid.
Seeds few–numerous, flattened, laterally compressed, suborbicular to reniform; testa somewhat leathery, slightly rugose or smooth, glabrous; embryo ± circinnate, flattened, subperipheral, in a fleshy or horny endosperm, with a terete radicle as wide as the semi-terete cotyledons.
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