One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A plant of a genus that includes the cape gooseberry and Chinese lantern, having an inflated calyx that resembles a lantern in shape.
Genus Physalis, family Solanaceae: many species
- ‘Take the physalis (cape gooseberry) I tried raising from seed for the first time this season, for instance.’
- ‘Pineapples are being grown in Karachi and its environs in increasing numbers so a few of these wouldn't go amiss along with physalis peruviana, better known as either Chinese gooseberry or cape gooseberry.’
- ‘Sow physalis in heated propagator; plant out shallots; mulch blackcurrants and raspberries; tidy strawberry bed; finish compost trenches on allotment where squash will grow; weed incessantly.’
- ‘I've also been cheered up by the unexpected emergence of some physalis plants I'd convinced myself had died when I transplanted them.’
- ‘The fruit, as usual with physalis fruits, is enclosed in a papery thin calyx or husk, which is cream in colour.’
Modern Latin, from Greek phusallis ‘bladder’ (because of the inflated calyx).
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