Yellow Flowering Weed: Walter’s Groundcherry

Putting a name to this yellow flowering weed in my landscape. Walter’s ground cherry is an interesting little plant.

Walter’s ground cherry flower

While clearing out some weeds that are encroaching into the backyard, I kept coming across this little plant with fuzzy leaves and yellow flowers.

I’ve identified it as Walter’s Groundcherry.

Walter’s ground cherry plant

The little yellow flowers hang downward, as do the pods that form that will hold the fruit. I’m still learning about this plant that apparently has been growing next to the lawn since I moved in.

Recently, with the addition of more raised garden beds, I’ve been in the yard tending to the plants. Also we are tilling up a place for an in-ground garden. That will make the yard considerably smaller, which is fine. The yard is mostly weeds anyway.

Walter’s ground cherry flower

The photo below shows a couple of the little pods forming where the “cherry” will grow.

According to this article at Wild South Florida, The little ripe fruit is edible – the key is that it must be ripe. I’m not into eating wild things, but I always think it’s good to know, just in case.

Stages of the “cherry”

The little lanterns go from green to yellowish to dried up tan in color. I kept waiting to see the “cherry” but the husks remained closed.

Today I picked four lanterns in various stages and opened them up. From what I’ve read – and I am not sure, and wouldn’t take the chance – the bright orange fruit is said to be edible. However, the green cherry and all the husks are toxic! I won’t go near anything that is toxic, so I’d never put this in my mouth. But I was curious about the inside.

The green cherry is unripe. The yellow / orange seems to be in the ripe stage. Then another orange berry is partially turning to seed. The last two are very dried and gone to seed.

I’ll continue to clear out the weeds, but will leave some of the ground-cherry. It’s good to know what is growing and what to pull out and what might be kept. This little plant is bothering no one. The flowers attract bees and some wildlife enjoys eating the cherries.

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Author: Pam

Spending time on the water is the best, and blogging about the sea life found along the saltwater river and ocean is what I do. I’m also a designer at Zazzle and sell products containing beach, tropical, and water themes.

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