I would like to know what kind of plant this is. I grew it from seed I brought from a trip to Eastern Africa and all I remember is that I extracted the seed from some kind of fruit... Any ideas?

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  • How long did it take to grow that large? Is it fertilized? I'm guessing it's something in the nightshade family, similar to a Garden Huckleberry, ground cherry, etc. I'm guessing it was very small for a good while before growing faster. I'm also guessing it requires more nitrogen than a tomato does. If the leaves get points after a while, it could be a ground cherry of some kind. Jul 8, 2015 at 6:34
  • Were the seeds tiny (like, a lot smaller than tomato and pepper seeds)? Jul 8, 2015 at 6:38

2 Answers 2


I am far from certain but the first thing that sprung to my mind was Physalis peruviana (Cape gooseberry), though the photos i've found online are not conclusive.

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Your plant's leaves are quite similar to young leaves of Cape Gooseberry, notably the general shape and venation. Below is a picture of a young plant from my garden.

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The fine hairs give a velvety feeling to the touch. In older plants the leaves are clearly crenelated but this feature is less prominent or absent in seedlings from my experience. Nevertheless hints of crenelation are visible on the bottom left leaf of second photo.

Although native from South America Physalis peruviana is of economic importance in East Africa and the fruit is edible.

Cape Gooseberry fruit

There are some differences with your specimen, such as the stalk and leaf color, the leaf tip seems to be quite variable from broad to narowly tapered (like yours). Not sure if this is due to growing conditions (low sunlight?), age or simply wrong identification.

If it is a Cape Gooseberry, i'm sure you'll enjoy the fruits!


Compare with Solanum betaceum (Tamarillo)

  • 1
    Can you add some more description as to why you think it is this plant? Short answers don't help the person who asked the question.
    – kevinskio
    May 12, 2015 at 1:09

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