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Ground Cherry Vs. Cherry: Everything You Need To Know

If you are thinking about using cherry alternatives, carefully consider ground cherry vs. cherry because they are not the same.

Generally, ground cherry and cherry may appear the same for their small, round size, but they taste very different with varying culinary applications and growth habits.

Find out more differences between the two cherries and why they are sometimes mistaken as the same.

Ground Cherry vs. Cherry: Similarities

Did you know there are over 400 species of cherries, with thousands of varieties growing worldwide?

However, not all cherries are the same, particularly ground cherry and cherry, but they share some similarities.

Ground cherries are often confused with regular cherries because of their shape, color, and similar culinary applications.

They share sweet flavors with slight differences in sharpness. Ground cherry is sharper, while regular tart cherry variety can also be intense.

ground cherry vs. common cherry
Ground cherry comes in yellow to orange, while cherry is mostly red but sometimes appears yellow.

Nonetheless, ground and regular cherries can increase the flavor of salads, jams, and desserts, including pies.

Ground Cherry vs. Cherry: Differences

Ground cherry gets its name from its cherry-like shape and the fact that it is picked from the ground when ripened.

Experts claim that ground cherry is closer to tomatoes and potatoes than cherries.

Here is how you can differentiate between the two cherries.

1. Family, Plant Type, and Growth

Ground cherry belongs to the Solanaceae (Nightshade) variety, and cherry belongs to Rosaceae (Rose).

In fact, ground cherry qualifies as a berry, but regular cherry is a drupe or a stone fruit.

Ground cherry grows as a bushy annual and lies close to the ground.

However, regular cherry grows in a tall tree as a perennial.

2. Fruit appearance

One way you can tell between the two is through their shell appearance.

Ground cherry is covered in a papery husk, but cherries grow inside a stone-like hard pit that requires effort to break.

Similarly, cherries are redder and sometimes appear black and yellow.

ground cherry
You can remove the papery shell from the ground cherry using only your hands.

On the other hand, ground cherry usually comes in yellow or orange shade.

3. Slightly Different Flavor

Ground cherries (Physalis) taste like a combination of sweet and tart with flavors ranging from various fruits, including pineapple.

However, cherries can be sweet and tart based on their variety. Prunus avium is sweet, while Prunus cerasus is acidic or sour.

4. Growing Environment and Care

Ground cherry is a tropical fruit that grows in warm climates and temperate regions when provided with full sun.

However, cherries require a period of cold temperature, usually winter, to produce fruit in spring.

5. Culinary Applications

While both can be eaten fresh, most cherries are added to meals or used as preserves.

Ground cherry suits green salads, tart jams, fruit spreads, salsas, and chutneys.

On the other hand, cherry makes perfect for pies, fruit jams, desserts, ice creams, and juices.


From Editorial Team 


Remember, ground cherries can adapt to a broader range of environments.

They are less likely to get diseases than regular cherries due to their natural immunity to most bacteria and fungi.

However, sweet cherries are more versatile and offer multiple edible uses, making them a favorite among kids and adults.

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