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Wednesday, 3 June 2015

GROWING TOMATILLO OR WILD CAPE GOOSEBERRY PLANT & ITS HEALTH BENEFITS

One morning while I was weeding and tidying up my garden, I found this nice looking weed in one of my flower pots. This plant must have sprouted from a seed brought by a bird. I was about to pull it out but on second thought I was thinking to myself that it might turned out to be an interesting plant.
I dug it out from where it was and planted it into an unoccupied pot. Wanting to satisfy my curiosity I watch it grow.
The plant started growing and branched out. I began to find this plant familiar. I remembered this plant from my childhood days. To confirm, I needed to see the fruits, i.e, if it has any. So I waited...
Then I started to notice small flower buds forming.

The flower is yellow and brownish on the inner side.

Then I saw the fruit and I immediately recognized this plant. It was the same plant that my girlfriends and I used to pluck the fruits and play 'masak-masak' (children's cooking game) with it.
This is the Tomatillo plant. It is related to the tomato family. Some of its other names are Wild Cape Gooseberry, Pymy Groundcherry, Native Gooseberry, Physalis Minima (or Letup Kelambu in Malay).
From my plant, the fruit with its papery skin is about 2.5 to 3 cm wide and 3.5 to 4 cm long. The papery skin is easily removed and the round fruit inside is slightly more than 1.5 cm diameter. It is slightly sweet and has many tiny seeds. It tastes a bit like cherry tomato.
These are some of the ripen fruits which have fallen to the ground.

The papery skin opened to reveal the fruits inside.

The fruits are cut to reveal the seeds.

Tomatillo is considered a useful plant or herb when the fruits are consumed and is considered a weed when the fruits are not used. The fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals and can be eaten raw or cooked. The fruits are usually used in salsas, stews and sauces for meat. The fruits are also used to make jam and marmalade.

Tomatillo is claimed to have medicinal value and traditionally used to treat diabetes and fever.
A cheerful heart is good medicine,

but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

(Proverbs 17:22, New International Version-NIV)

47 comments:

  1. Now I know its name. Seen this tomato plants before.

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  2. Oppss!!!..a total stranger to this plant. The fruit looks cute & it does resemble a cherry tomato.

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    Replies
    1. But not as tasty as cherry tomato, mostly for cooking.

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  3. Wow lucky you din pull it out :) what we think are weeds can turned out something good :p

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  4. Your garden id Perfet.and there are. A lot of flowers

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Gosia. Have a wonderful day!

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  5. My Mexican employees grow lots of tomatillos. Tom The Backroads Travellers

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    Replies
    1. The Mexican use these for their sauces, etc.

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  6. I've never seen this plant/weed. I hope I can see one in the many weeds we have here. Good day!

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    Replies
    1. It could be there among the weeds but you may not have recognize it. Have a good day too!

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  7. I have never come across this before, you certainly learn something new everyday here in blogland.

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    Replies
    1. I agree with you, I too have learnt many new things in blogland!

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  8. So wonderful:) kisses

    http://denimakeup95.blogspot.it/

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, De. Have a wonderful day!

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  9. I'd never heard of this before. Way cool that you let it grow and blossom. Way cool.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sandee. Have a great day!

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  10. Very interesting.

    I haven't seen tomatillo from the plant, but I have seen the fruits at the supermarket. I always hear about it in cooking shows.

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    Replies
    1. I have not tasted cooked tomatillo yet.

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  11. Replies
    1. It is quite a common weed in some places.

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  12. Haven't seen it before, but so nice that it grows in your garden:)

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    Replies
    1. It was a good thing I didn't pull it out.

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  13. Isn't interesting when suddenly you noticed a plant and what do you know, it's for real and can be used for things. Have a wonderful day Nancy. See ya.

    Cruisin Paul

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    Replies
    1. I am glad that that It turned out to be a useful plant.

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  14. oh, how neat! glad you saved it!

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    1. If I had pulled it out, I wouldn't get to see the fruits and know about this plant.

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  15. I see them in the store, but I haven't tried using them. Much better to grow your own, I guess!
    ~

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    1. I remembered I tried the ones sold in the stores while I was on holiday in Spore and they are bigger and sweeter. The one from my garden I think is of different specie, they are smaller and not so sweet.

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  16. I always learn something new from your blog :) Great photos!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you dear, and have a great day!

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  17. Beautiful and informative!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Linda and have a wonderful day!

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  18. such beautiful garden you have. now i know what's that Tomatillo. i have always seen in the supermarket and it looks pretty cool and unique. didnt know is that hehe.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Irvine, I have known this plant, tasted the fruits but only get to know the name of the plant recently.

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  19. I'm glad that you saved the plant. We can buy the seeds in seed catalogues but I never did try to grow them. They are also called ground cherries.
    Hugs,
    JB

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Julia. I have tried growing seeds from seeds catalogues but not always successful.

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  20. I must learn from you for all these plants

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lay Hoon, you are most welcome to read from the posting of my plants.

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  21. I have bought Physalis to eat when I was in UK. I did not know that we could grow a variant of it here - so interesting. So did you just eat it like a raw ripe tomato?

    I wonder how did the plant get into your pot.Are you going to propagate and grow more of it?

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  22. I eat it like raw ripe tomato but they are not as sweet as bought ones. I don't know whether it will grow from the seeds but hope to try.

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  23. This can be planted here??? They're very expensive on the supermarket shelf.

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    Replies
    1. This variety can be planted here. But this is not as sweet as those sold in the supermarket.

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  24. I just recently found the same plant in my garden bed, but the flowers are small and white with yellow in the middle.im been trying to figure out what it is, I hope it's a tomatillo!

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    Replies
    1. It could be, let it grow bigger first. Have a great day!

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Thank you for your visits and encouraging comments. They are greatly appreciated. Have a beautiful day.

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