Stems erect, becoming decumbent and spreading, 1 to 3 feet high, from a perennial, slender, creeping rootstock, viscid, glandular and hairy with long-spreading, jointed, flat hairs. Leaves alternate, ovate, at least the lower ones usually somewhat heart-shaped, the apex pointed, texture rather thick, the margins sinuate toothed or nearly entire. Calyx hairy, the margin with five-pointed lobes. Corolla three-fourths to seven-eighths of an inch broad, greenish yellow with a purplish or purplish brown center, open bell-shaped, five-lobed; anthers usually yellow. Fruit a small, yellow berry inclosed by the enlarged calyx.
Memoir 15 N. Y. State Museum
Clammy Ground Cherry - Physalis heterophylla
In rich soil, along roads and banks, usually where the soil has been disturbed. Flowering in July and August.
There are three or four additional species of Physalis in New York, all of which are perennial by rootstocks. The Smooth Ground Cherry (Physalis subglabrata Mackenzie & Bush), is easy to identify because it is smooth or nearly smooth with ovate or ovate-lanceolate leaves.
The Virginia Ground Cherry (Physalis virginiana Miller) is not easy to distinguish from the Clammy Ground Cherry, but is usually hairy and little or not at all viscid, the berry reddish, and the fruiting calyx smoother and deeply sunken at the base.