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Uvilla (Savory)

Uvilla (Savory)

Physalis peruviana

Grown by: Truelove Seeds Farm in Glen Mills, PA

  • $5.00

This variety of Uvilla is savory, aromatic, and sour. Compared to the more widely available, sweeter, brighter uvilla, this variety is darker orange with green undertones, sour plum-like skin, and a potent, condensed flavor like a dried mango. We love it! We love them both! The texter is slightly more like it's cousin, the tomato than other ground cherries and uvillas. 

We received these seeds from the Seed Savers Exchange. They were listed in the SSE yearbook in 2004 by Gail and Harold Baer of Glasford, IL who gave this description: "90 days, a.k.a. Golden Tomatillo, large bushy 2' fall plants, best for fresh eating and preserves, use green for salsa, from Italy."

While it is a cousin to the tomatillo, this is a different species. Originally from Brazil, Physalis peruviana 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. A delicious 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: 90% on 02/27/2024

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.

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