Erect, rhizomatous perennial 4-8 dm, usually divergently branched, the younger parts glabrous to densely puberulent with appressed or ascending hairs rarely over 0.5 mm; lvs 4-10 cm, glabrous or very sparsely and minutely puberulent, the hairs of the lower surface restricted to the veins; pedicels 1-2 cm at anthesis, not much elongating in fr; cal minutely pubescent in 10 strips along the nerves, the hairs appressed, rarely 0.5 mm; cal-lobes triangular or ovate, 3-4 mm, densely ciliate; cor 11-17 mm, yellow, dark-blotched within; anthers 3-4 mm; filaments dilated; fruiting cal ovoid or short-cylindric, acuminate, 3-4 cm, scarcely retuse at base; 2n=24. Fields, open woods, and prairies; Vt. and Ont. to Mont., s. to Va., Tenn., La., and Ariz. July-Aug. Plants of our range are mostly var. subglabrata (Mack. & Bush) Cronquist, with rather thin, ±ovate, sinuate-toothed lvs abruptly narrowed to the long petiole. (P. subglabrata; P. macrophysa) The more western var. longifolia, with firmer, narrower (lanceolate to lance-elliptic or narrowly rhombic), mostly entire lvs more tapering to the often shorter petiole, is occasionally intr. in our range. (P. virginiana var. sonorae)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
Wiggins 1964, Martin and Hutchins 1980, VPAP (Landrum et al. 2013), Allred and Ivey 2012
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Perennial herb, 50-100 cm tall, from a rhizome; stems stout, erect, angulate-striate, glabrous. Leaves: Alternate along the stems, on petioles 1-4 cm long; blades lance-elliptic, 3-9 cm long and 1-2 cm wide, with entire to sinuate margins; leaf surfaces glabrous or nearly so, or sometimes sparsely hairy on the margins. Flowers: Yellow and pendulous, on downward-curving pedicels 8-12 mm long, from the leaf axils; calyx bell-shaped and 5-lobed, about 1 cm long, with the lobes usually longer than the tube portion of the calyx; corolla an open bell shape (campanulate-rotate) and 5-lobed, 12-20 mm wide and about 10-15 mm deep, cream to greenish-yellow with darker center. Fruits: Berry 6-12 mm diameter, surrounded by a papery husk (the persistent calyx) which is ovoid, 1-4 cm long, glabrous, and distinctly veined. Ecology: Found in moist, disturbed ground, from 2,500-8,500 ft (762-2591 m); flowers March-October. Distribution: Widespread in N. Amer. from CAN to MEX Notes: This is a relatively large, rhizomatous perennial Physalis. It is distinguished based on its long, narrow, unlobed leaves; it is glabrous or only sparsely hairy; and completely lacks glandular hairs. Allred and Ivey (2012) recognize 2 varieties: var. subglabrata has blue or blue-tinged anthers, and var. longifolia has yellow anthers. Ethnobotany: This is a wild tomatillo; the berries can be eaten raw or cooked. Etymology: Physalis is from the Greek physa, a bladder or bubble, and -alis, pertaining to, for the inflated calyx; longifolia means long-leaved. Synonyms: Physalis lanceolata var. longifolia Editor: SBuckley 2010, AHazelton 2017