Experience with Physalis peruviana (goldenberry/poha berry)?

I believe @Richard was referring to the fact that they produce zygotic embryos in their seeds, so even if they seem “the same” as the parent, they are not genetic clones. Generally, “true from seed” refers to plants that produce seeds with nucellar embryos (clones of the mother plant), like most citrus and some mangos, for example.

So peruviana seedlings are not genetically identical to the parent, which means they aren’t “true from seed,” but the seedlings are still peruviana (the species) and they may therefore seem so similar to the parent that you’d call them “the same.” But over time, you can select for improved qualities since all the seedlings will have a bit of genetic variability, if for example you select seeds from the earliest plant or largest fruit, etc., but you can’t generally do that with plants that are actually true to seed.


First time I’ve seen these in the store, I got a pack for seed. They are pretty tasty! Much better than the ones I grew, and larger too.


That’s how I started my physalis madness haha. I’ve actually grown them from seed from that very company before.

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I, too, bought the same package! They sure taste tropical. I’ve grown Aunt Molly (physalis pruinosa) before but can’t remember if they taste different.
I bought these seed packages and figure I’ll grow out and compare with Aunt Molly.

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Did the SunBelle Goldenberry seedlings grown from packaged fruit ripen in time for you?
Maybe will add those to trial.

They did but I started them several months before spring. Lucie’s big on the other hand I actually grew for its entire lifetime under some grow lights and it produced fruit in roughly 80 days which is very quick for a peruviana. That being said, the flavor wasn’t great although theres a very good chance that was due to my indoor setup being underpowered.

Please update us on how Lucie’s tastes when grown outside!


Will do. I’ll be starting a few of each Feb 1 and will grow them indoors under lights till about May 15. Will see if that’s enough head start for my relatively short growing season!


I’ll be starting mine by then as well, and I’m planning to put some in the greenhouse in the ground, and others planted out in late spring.

I have two types of peruviana this year, the seeds from the fruit above, and a second generation from seeds I got from @jsteph00921 last year, which fruited too late in the greenhouse and had inferior fruit as a result. I’m hoping they will be better with an early start this year.

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I actually managed to save a single volunteer from the ‘bush’ variety of poha berry that has much larger fruit. It also has slightly different leaves than the poha berries with a more traditional vining habit. I thought I had lost these for good, until a few baby plants popped up in the garden around the end of August. So, anyway, I plan to carefully save the seeds this summer and will have plenty to share. I’m very excited because these taste much better than the other varieties I’ve tried.

Here it is happily wintering over in the greenhouse with lows around 42:

Here’s the other variety I tried to winter over in the greenhouse. It is not doing so well:


Wow! Do you have that large variety too? Kind of grows more like a bush than a vine? For the life of me I couldn’t find a place to order those seeds. One guy sent them to me from Florida, but what came up was the smaller variety. Luckily, a volunteer of the larger variety popped up in the garden in August. So I managed to transplant it into a pot and it’s happily over wintering in the greenhouse.

Mine both looked like that a month ago and were basically dead when I pulled them out last week. They had set enough fruit early enough that I should have plenty of volunteers in that corner of the greenhouse (I just tilled the fruit into the soil).

I just noticed that cdamarjian has seeds for both types, and they are actually different nomenclature. I’d been thinking they were just distinct varieties of physalis peruvianus. Now I see that the small fruit, vining type is solanum pruinosa. I noticed you bought some of the larger ones in the market. Those are the ones I prefer. So you probably have lots of those seeds now. Excellent.

I am not sure why they use Solanum as the genus, they both are Physalis as far as I know. But yes, different species.

Definitely. Where did you buy those larger poha berries?

It was Adamsmasherz’s suggestion that led me to the Farmacie Isolde seed company. Lots of unusual seeds there.
They have these 2 varieties of peruviana:

*GOLDEN BERRY Schoenbrunn Gold(Physalis peruviana) *
Husked sweet fruits on upright 4’ plants. Excellent complex flavor: guava, passionfruit, mango and citrus. Harvest when husks are completely dry. These are not ground cherries; fruit will not fall when ripe. Prolific most years, but much later than Lucie’s. Yummy fresh or dried. Packet contains 30 seeds.

Lucie’s Big(Physalis peruviana) $3.25The earliest goldenberry we’ve grown. Both fruits and plants are indeed “big". Vigorous 6’ plants produce tons of 1" fruits beginning in July. The flavor is excellent: sweet, fragrant and juicy. Barely a trace of the sour and bitter notes other selections can have. Just amazing. Packet contains 20 seeds."

Excerpt From: Marianne Schmidt. “Farmacie Isolde 2023 Catalog.” Apple Books.

Schoenbrunn Gold would be too late for me but might work for you. Not many seeds in package. One goldenberry fruit has more than 30 seeds! If Lucie’s Big works out, I’ll have seeds to share for next year.

The Goldenberry fruits I bought were, surprisingly, at my local Safeway.

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Same! I cut up a few of them and mashed them a little in a jar of water, they mostly fell free to the bottom. Much easier to separate than tomatoes!


Here too! I was ready to mash, ferment and go through a whole rigamarole… but the seeds just fell out!

thats when i started mine last winter. got seeds off esty. tasted as good and were as big as the store ones. started fruiting in late july until frost killed them. will be growing them again. they get about 6ft tall and need something to tie them to as they start to fall over at 4ft tall…


Good to know about staking. Were they a named variety?

Thanks! Now I don’t have to fret over my last remaining specimen. I could not find seeds for the upright bush poha anywhere. I tried several sources and they all sent me the type you can get at any nursery.

Have you grown these before? The taste is much better in my opinion. Though they weren’t nearly as prolific for me as the vining variety. I plant to grow one in the greenhouse this summer to see if that gives me more of a yield.