Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Quincula lobata, Purple Ground Cherry

Purple Ground Cherry has showy purple, violet or pinkish-white flowers, with a white eye in the center. Quincula Purple Ground Cherry blooms from March to October. It is found on plains, mesas and roadsides. In California it is found in granitic soils and around dry lake margins. Quincula lobata Purple Ground Cherry is a perennial native species that grows in elevations from 1,000 to 5,000 in Arizona. Quincula lobataPurple Ground Cherry has showy purple, violet or pinkish-white flowers, with a white eye in the center. Quincula lobata

Scientific Name: Quincula lobata
Common Name: Purple Ground Cherry
Also Called: Chinese Lantern, Chinese-lantern, Purple Groundcherry, Purpleflower Groundcherry
Family: Solanaceae, Nightshade or Potato Family
Synonyms: (Chamaesaracha physaloides, Physalis lobata, Physalis lobata var. albiflora, Quincula lepidota)
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial
Size: Up to 20 inches more or less.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; plants decumbent to spreading; few branches; herbage glabrous to minutely papillate.
Leaves: Green; oblong to ovate to lanceolate; margins entire to lobed
Flower Color: Purple or violet with a white eye; inflorescence, short pedicels; corolla rotate; anthers yellow
Flowering Season: March to October.
Elevation: 1,000 to 5,000 feet; 1,500 to 2,500 feet in California.

Habitat Preferences: Plains, mesas and roadsides; California, granitic soils, dry lake margins.
Recorded Range: Quincula lobata is found in the southern United States. It is also native to the northern parts of Mexico. In Arizona it is found in the central, southern and northeast parts of the state in Apache, Greenlee Maricopa, Navajo, Pima and Pinal counties.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Quincula lobata.

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.

Wetland Indicator: In North America Quincula lobata has the following wetland designations: Arid West, FACU; Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain, UPL; Great Plains, UPL; Midwest, UPL; Western Mountains, Valleys, and Coast, FACU.
FACU = Facultative Upland, usually occur in non-wetlands, but may occur in wetlands
UPL = Obligate Upland, almost never occur in wetlands

Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.

Genus Information: In North America there is 1 species and 1 accepted taxa overall for Quincula. World wide, The Plant List includes 1 accepted species name for the genus.

In the Southwestern United States there is 1 species of Quincula. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.

Comments: Quincula lobata was previously classified as Physalis lobata.

The type species for Quincula lobata (Chamaesaracha physaloides) is from the Patagonia Mountains, Arizona (Buck-minister in 1881).

Quincula lobata has been used for food by southwestern indigenous peoples.
Kiowa Drug, Misc. Disease Remedy, Decoction of roots taken or poultice of pounded roots applied for grippe.
Kiowa Food, Preserves, Berries gathered to make jelly.
Kiowa Other, Toys & Games, Bladdery envelope blown up by children and busted on the forehead.
See ethno-botanical uses at Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.

Date Profile Completed: 09/10/2016, updated format 10/06/2017
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed 09/10/2016)
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California, Physalis lobata.
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 09/10/2016).
Native Plant Information Network, NPIN (2013). Published on the Internet [accessed: 09/10/2016]. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
1993, The Jepson Manual, Citation: (accessed 09/10/2016),7666,7673
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information 09/10/2016).