Weed ID Wednesday: Smooth Ground Cherry

Weed ID Wednesday: Smooth Ground Cherry

August 6, 2020

Every week we ask you to identify a weed from a few characteristics on our Facebook and Twitter pages! This week for #WeedIDWednesday we asked you about a weed with some very distinguishing flowers. Let’s see if you can ID this weed from just a description!

Here’s the clue we gave you:

It’s another #WeedIDWednesday! Watch out for this weed; it’s poisonous when consumed. It is sometimes called “Japanese lantern” due to the shape of the papery capsule that contains the fruit of this plant. A member of the potato family, this plant also has bright yellow flowers. Any guesses?

What was your guess? A member of the nightshade family, this weed is Smooth Ground Cherry! This weed reproduces by seed and has spreading roots that go deep into the ground. This plant is most commonly found in southern Ontario, most often in well-drained, coarse soils.

The easiest way to identify this plant is by the bright yellow flowers, which have 5 petals that are fused together, and the papery lantern-like capsule which contains a round berry. But remember: don’t eat this plant! Parts of the Smooth Ground Cherry plant are poisonous when consumed.

Stay tuned for next week’s #WeedIDWednesday post, and follow along on our Facebook and Twitter pages so you don’t miss out!

Featured Image: Wikipedia

Additional Sources: Weed ID Guide for Ontario Crops by Cowbrough, M., Tardif, F., and Letarte, J.