Uvillas taste incredible: tart, sweet, so bright and tropical like citrus. Unlike Ground Cherries, their fruit does not fall on the ground when ripe. They are originally from Brazil but long ago naturalized in high-altitude, tropical Peru and Chile. Back home in the Andes, it is known by many names, including "Aguaymanto," "Uvilla," and "Uchuva." In English-speaking places it is often called "Cape Gooseberry" (named for the Cape of Good Hope) or “Goldenberry.” In France, it is sometimes marketed as "Amour en Cage" meaning "love in a cage." At Truelove, while we love Ground Cherries we prefer eating Uvillas. However, while their plants are much more sprawling, they are a bit slower to ripen and less productive. That said, this is a surprisingly good late summer treat!
Also known as: Cape Gooseberry, Coztomate, Coztomatl, Pogapoga, Topotopo, Peruvian Ground Cherry, Wild Tomato, Goldenberry, Uchuva, Aguaymanto.
Days to maturity: 90-120
Seeds per pack: 40
Germination rate: 81% on 02/03/2022
Planting / harvesting notes
Sow indoors 1/4" deep around 6 weeks before the last frost date. Germination can take as long as 20 days, but can be sooner if set on a heat mat with a temperature between 75 and 80 degrees F. Transplant in the garden in rows about every 18"-24". Plants will form blousy bushes like tomatillos. Keep well weeded until they fill in the space. Harvest when the husks turn brown and the fruits are yellow/gold. For winter use, store the fruits unhusked in a dry, airy place (like a basket). To eat, remove the husk and eat the yellow fruit raw or bake in pies or stew with sugar for jam.
Seed keeping notes
Seeds are ready for harvest when fruit is ripe. You can remove seeds by hand, rinse, and dry. We use a blender on the lowest setting with plenty of water. When the fruits have been broken open, pour the mixture into a large container and add water. Allow the fruits to float and the seeds to sink. Pour off everything except the seed (you may have to add more water and repeat this process a few times) and then strain and rinse the seeds, and dry. However, you may never need to replant ground cherries after your first year - they tend to reseed themselves!