The Physalis Improvement Project

Welcome to the Physalis Improvement Project!


The genus Physalis is part of the Solanaceae family (also home to the well-known tomato and potato) and is home to the edible species of peruviana and pruinosa. These species are commonly referred to as groundcherry and goldenberry as well as many other regional names. Plants produce small edible fruits that range from sweet to tart with a variety of unique flavors. This project aims to further explore the cultivation of peruviana and pruinosa in New York state and gauge potential for local food systems. The Physalis Improvement Project is led by the Van Eck research group and is made possible through funding from The Triad and National Science Foundations.

Project Goals

  • Gather information from stakeholders involved in the production and consumption of Physalis
  • Use information gathered for crop improvement
  • Heighten the visibility of Physalis as a specialty crop in New York State

Where are Our Growers?

Physalis Recipes

2019 Citizen Scientist Sign-up 


Meet the Project Team

Pictured: Nathan Reem, Kerry Swartwood,Esperanza Shenstone, Brandon Williams, Joyce Van Eck

2018 Project

2018 Physalis Improvement Project As the first year of the Physalis Improvement Project comes to a close, we would like to take this opportunity to share a little about the citizen science project and some of the results. Background In the first iteration of the...

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From the Garden to the Table

 Looking for some culinary inspiration? Look no farther as we have now started a collection of recipes for Physalis! These dishes, made by project participants, first debuted at our Fall 2018 Physalis Harvest Event. We liked them so much we wanted to be able to share...

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Biology Minute: Other Physalis Species

Best Wishes for the End of the Year As we wrap up the 2018  we want to thank everyone who has taken an interest in Physalis, especially groundcherry and goldenberry. Remember, if you are interested in participating in the project this upcoming year, please fill out...

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Boyce Thompson Institute
533 Tower Rd.
Ithaca, NY 14853