Yellow nightshade groundcherry, thick-leaved ground cherry
The Mojave Desert and adjacent areas
Between 8 and 20 inches
Gravelly or sandy locations in deserts; washes, plains, hillsides; up to 4,000 feet
Thick, ovate, up to 1.5 inches long, covered with short glandular hairs, on stalks about the same length as the leaf blade
Physalis crassifolia is a shrub-like perennial, producing freely branched stems that become woody with age, bearing ovate leaves on long petioles, and small clusters of terminal yellow flowers. Stems, leaves and flowers have a covering of short, fine hairs. Flowers are formed of five fused lobes, darker yellow or greenish at the base, surrounding a group of short stamens and a style. Flowers open out steadily and eventually the lobes, and the sepals underneath, curl backwards to form a housing for the tomato-like fruit.