Physalis of the Southeastern US

Sullivan's "The genus Physalis (Solanaceae) in the southeastern United States" is available online at the Biodiversity Heritage Library (click here).

This species list encompasses the 20 species of Physalis (and Physa-likes) commonly found growing wild or cultivated in the following 14 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia.

Physalis alkekengi is now Alkekengi officinarum
Physalis angulata
Physalis angustifolia
Physalis arenicola
Physalis carpenteri is now Calliphysalis carpenteri
Physalis cinerascens
Physalis cordata
Physalis x elliottii (hybrids of Physalis angustifolia and P. walteri)
Physalis grisea
Physalis heterophylla
Physalis lanceolata
Physalis longifolia
Physalis macrosperma
Physalis missouriensis
Physalis mollis
Physalis peruviana (cultivated)
Physalis philadelphica
Physalis pubescens
Physalis pumila
Physalis virginiana
Physalis walteri

Very occasionally, a random individual of the annual Physalis acutifolia gets introduced from the Southwest and pops up in a heavily human-disturbed area, but they don't seem to persist.
The Neotropical annual Physalis lagascae is a rare weed of sugarcane fields in Mississippi and Louisiana.

Some quick lists of key traits and species groups:

ANNUALS (with taproots): Physalis acutifolia, Physalis angulata, Physalis cordata, Physalis grisea, Physalis lagascae, Physalis missouriensis, Physalis philadelphica, Physalis pubescens.

PERENNIALS (with rhizomes): Alkekengi officinarum, Physalis angustifolia, Physalis arenicola, Physalis cinerascens, Physalis x elliottii, Physalis heterophylla, Physalis lanceolata, Physalis longifolia, Physalis mollis, Physalis pumila, Physalis virginiana, Physalis walteri.

COLORFUL FRUITING CALYXES: Red-orange = Alkekengi officinarum. Tangerine-orange = Physalis angustifolia, Physalis x elliottii, or Physalis walteri.

SAND-LOVING SPECIES: Physalis arenicola mostly Floridian, occasional in sand of other coastal plain states. Physalis angustifolia beaches from Florida panhandle to Louisiana. Physalis x elliottii in peninsular Florida. Physalis lanceolata mostly sandhills of the Carolinas. Physalis macrosperma in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas. Physalis walteri on east coast beaches or sand, Florida to Virginia.

Based on:
Sullivan, Janet R. 2004. "The genus Physalis (Solanaceae) in the southeastern United States." Rhodora: 305-326.

See also:
Pyne M, Orzell SL, Bridges EL, Poindexter D. 2019. Physalis macrosperma (Solanaceae). Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas 13(1): 31-50.
Thieret, John W. 1971. Physalis lagascae (Solanaceae) in Louisiana: New to the conterminous United States. Sida, Contributions to Botany 4(3): 277-277.
Whitson, M. 2011. Proposal to conserve the name Physalis (Solanaceae) with a conserved type. Taxon 60(2): 608–609.
Whitson, M. 2012. "Calliphysalis (Solanaceae): A new genus from the southeastern USA." Rhodora 114(958): 133-147.

Posted by m_whitson m_whitson, May 25, 2022 19:12


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