Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Physalis crassifolia, Yellow Nightshade Groundcherry

Yellow Nightshade Groundcherry is a native sub-shrub with yellow widely bell-shaped flowers and yellow anthers. Physalis crassifoliaYellow Nightshade Groundcherry is both an annual or perennial plant that grows up to 30 inches more or less. Physalis Yellow Nightshade Groundcherry blooms from February to October. Plants are found in dry gravelly areas and rocky flats or slopes. Physalis crassifolia Yellow Nightshade Groundcherry is sometimes called Thick-leafed Groundcherry because of the thickish fleshy leaves. Physalis

Scientific Name: Physalis crassifolia
Common Name: Yellow Nightshade Groundcherry
Also Called: Desert Ground Cherry, Thick-leafed Groundcherry, Thickleaf Groundcherry (Spanish: Tomate de Culebra, Tomatillo del Desierto, Tomatillo)
Family: Solanaceae, Nightshade or Potato Family
Synonyms: ()
Status: Native
Duration: Annual, perennial;
Size: Up to 32 inches more or less.
Growth Form: Forb/herb, subshrub; plants suffrutescent; stems zigzag; plants generally glandular.
Leaves: Green; leaves thickish, fleshy; leaves about an inch wide; margins entire to sinuate-dentate, somewhat wavy; leaves mostly ovate; leaves petioled.
Flower Color: Yellow; floral tube widely bell-shaped; corolla sometimes without an eye; anthers also yellow.
Flowering Season: February to October; March to May in California.
Elevation: 3,000 feet or lower; below 4,000 in California.

Habitat Preferences: Dry gravelly or rocky flats, slopes, washes.

Recorded Range: Yellow Nightshade is found in the southwestern United States in; AZ, CA, NV, UT. It is also native to Baja California and northern Mexico.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Physalis crassifolia.

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.

Genus Information: In North America there are 29 species and 52 accepted taxa overall for Physalis. World wide, The Plant List includes 124 accepted species names and includes a further 52 infraspecific rank for the genus.

In the Southwestern United States, Arizona, California and New Mexico each have 12 species of Physalis, Nevada has 4 species, Texas has 18 species and Utah has 7 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.

There are 2 varieties in Physalis crassifolia ;
Physalis crassifolia var. crassifolia, Yellow Nightshade Groundcherry (AZ, CA, NV, UT);
Physalis crassifolia var. versicolor, Yellow Nightshade Groundcherry (AZ, CA, NV).

Comments: In Southwest Desert Flora please also see; Sharpleaf Groundcherry, Physalis acutifolia, Ivyleaf Groundcherry, Physalis hederifolia and Husk Tomato, Physalis pubescens.

Date Profile Completed: 09/08/2016, updated format 10/06/2017
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed 09/08/2016)
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California.
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 09/08/2016).
1993, The Jepson Manual, Citation: (accessed 09/09/2016),7666,7668
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information ).