September 10, 2010

Here are two plants, and their fruit, from my herb garden.

Specimen #1 clears the brick edging by a few inches.

Specimen #2 reaches to my waist.

Specimen #1 has fruit with light yellow, papery husks. Specimen #2’s fruit have soft green husks with purple stripes.

Open the husks. Are they the same? Nope. Small, yellow fruit with dry skin versus large, green fruit with sticky coating.

Here they are all nudie. The little one is a ground cherry — ‘Aunt Molly’s’ ground cherry, to be exact. The big one is a tomatillo.

So why did I tell E.g.’s cousin, when we had a family party chez nous two weeks ago, that both plants were ground cherries?

Because I thought they were.

And why on earth would I think that, when the plants are so obviously different?

Because they came from the same seed packet, a business-card-sized manilla envelope with a sticker that says “Aunt Molly’s Ground Cherries” on it, from a small mail-order company in Quebec. Not surprisingly, this company also sells tomatillo seeds.

Does Turtle believe everything she reads? Maybe sometimes.

It took some ‘net surfing before I was sure about the tomatillos. Surprised? Yep. Feeling foolish? Yepper.

But that’s okay; the one we’ve eaten so far made a tasty addition to our movie night refried-bean dip.