Physalis angulata (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Physalis angulata L.

Protologue: Sp. pl. 1: 183 (1753).

Vernacular names

  • Gooseberry, hogweed, balloon cherry (En)
  • Indonesia: ceplukan (Javanese), cicendet an (Sundanese), daun kopo-kopi (Moluccas)
  • Malaysia: leletup, chipluan, ubat pekong
  • Papua New Guinea: kaipos (Navuapaka, Central Province), oviovi (Oroi, Central Province), watosivo (Garara, Oro Province)
  • Philippines: putok-putokan, tino tino, toltolaya
  • Thailand: baa tom tok (northern), thong theng (central), pung ping (peninsular)
  • Vietnam: tầm bóp, lu lu cái.


Native to tropical America, now distributed pantropically, including Malesia, as a weed.


In Malesia, the aerial parts, including the fruits, are used to cure digestive and intestinal problems, and various skin problems such as sores, boils and cuts. In Papua New Guinea, constipation is relieved by drinking a decoction of the leaves. The sap of the leaves in water is taken as an abortifacient, although their use to treat sterility is also mentioned. The fruit is eaten as a snack, and the leaves as a salad, although the taste is bitter.


An annual herb, 10-100 cm tall, glabrous or with a few short appressed hairs, stems sharply angled, hollow, lower branches sometimes prostrate and rooting at the nodes; leaves ovate to lanceolate, sometimes linear, 4-15 cm × 2.5-10 cm, margins irregularly toothed or entire, short hairy, petiole 2-11 cm long; flowers solitary, flowering calyx 3-5 mm long, fruiting calyx 2-4 cm long, greenish-yellow with purple ribs, corolla 5-10 mm long, up to 1 cm in diameter, pale yellow, with or without dark spots and a triangular spot of dense short hairs at the throat; anthers entirely pale blue; berry 10-16 mm in diameter, yellow. P. angulata occurs in sunny to somewhat shaded, not too dry fertile spots in fields, gardens, wastelands, fallow fields, along roads, in open forests and forest margins, up to 1500 m altitude.

Selected sources

  • Burkill, I.H., 1966. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Revised reprint. 2 volumes. Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Vol. 1 (A-H) pp. 1-1240, Vol. 2 (I-Z) pp. 1241-2444.

323, 407, 440, 599, 619, 696, 810, 948, 977, 997.


Slamet Sutanti Budi Rahayu