Shrubs or perennial herbs, pubescent with dendritic or perhaps simple hairs. Stems erect, much branched. Leaves solitary or paired, simple, petiolate; leaf blade entire, glabrous or pubescent, often with dendritic hairs. Inflorescences solitary or in congested axillary clusters. Pedicel short. Calyx campanulate, dentate; corolla narrowly campanulate, parted to halfway. Stamens equal, inserted near base of corolla tube; filaments slightly compressed; anthers sometimes connivent. Disc evident, ringlike, surrounding ovary base. Ovary 2-locular; ovules numerous. Style slender. Fruiting calyx becoming enlarged, enveloping berry, closed at apex. Fruit a globose shiny berry. Seeds compressed reniform; embryo coiled, subperipheral.
Inflorescences of few–several flowers in axillary fascicles, rarely reduced to one flower; pedicels short or obsolete, often drooping in fruit.
Leaves solitary, alternate, the upper ones usually in pairs (or whorls of 3), one larger than the others, appearing opposite (or verticillate), petiolate, entire to lobed.
A genus allied to Physalis, with c. 10 species widely distributed in warm and temperate regions of the Old World extending from Mediterranean Europe southwards to the Cape of South Africa, and eastwards from the Canary and Cape Verde Islands through the Mediterranean region and Arabia to India and Sri Lanka. Hunziker, loc. cit. (2001), includes a further 9 species formerly in Physaliastrum Makino from more humid areas in eastern Asia.
Seeds numerous, compressed, sub-orbicular or ± reniform; testa somewhat leathery, reticulate-foveate; embryo strongly curved, flattened, in the fleshy and scanty endosperm; radicle long, ± terete; cotyledons slender, semi-terete or linear in outline.
Fruit baccaceous, ± sessile, globose, juicy, 2-locular.
Shrubs or perennial herbs, ± clothed with branched hairs to subglabrous.
Ovary 2-locular, the ovules hemicampylotropous, numerous in each locule on a placenta adnate to the dissepiment; style as long as or slightly longer than the filaments, subulate, straight; stigma capitate, sometimes shortly and widely 2-lobed at the tip, included or scarcely exserted.
Stamens 5(7), ± equal, inserted near the base of the corolla tube, included or scarcely exserted; filaments subulate often from a flat-expanded base, glabrous or minutely glandular-scaly at the base and with fringes on the back; anthers ± oblong in outline, straight, as long as or shorter than the filaments, free or sometimes conniving, attached on the lower part of the back or at the base between the thecae, dehiscing by longitudinal slits.
Disk annular, adnate to and surrounding the basal part of the ovary, subentire to crenulate, slightly glandular, sometimes none.
Calyx almost as long as the corolla tube, campanulate, 5(7)-fid; lobes as long as or shorter than the tube, subulate upwards, not conniving at the apex, with valvate aestivation; in fruit ± enlarged and bladdery-inflated simulating Physalis, closely or loosely concealing it, reticulate, papyraceous, scarious or elsewhere coriaceous.
Corolla white to yellow or ± greenish, campanulate, often narrowly so, sometimes infundibular or sub-rotate, hairy; tube hairy inside; limb broad, (3)5(7)-fid or -lobed, somewhat reflexed, with valvate aestivation.