Flower of the Day – Tomatillo

Tomatillos (Physalis philadelphica and Physalis ixocarpa), are sometimes confused with green (unripe) tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum); although subsumed under the same botanical family (Solanaceae), they are completely different species.  Tomatillos are also known in English as husk tomatoes, and in Mexico, they are most commonly called tomate verde, or miltomate:

Tomatillos for sale in Mexico City; $95 Mexican pesos per kilo are approximately $2 USD/lb (My photo, 2019)

The photo at the top of this post shows tomatillo flowers at different stages of development.  After the flowers are pollinated and fade, papery shells form (photo below, left).  The shells cabin the growing fruits, until these reach the size of Ping-Pong balls, bursting their papery covers.  Tomatillos may be green or purple in colour, and are harvested when still under-ripened (photo below, right):   

In my garden, even though they are planted as contemporaries, tomatillos are always harvested behind regular tomatoes, so as my tomato plants are almost done, I just collected my first batch of tomatillos.  In my kitchen, they are a staple all year-round, so I make sure to freeze some raw, as well as to prepare fresh and cooked salsas, and can some for the winter time.  I have shared several recipes calling for tomatillos, such as stuffed chicken breasts, and pozole verde.


I am joining Cee’s Flower of the Day (FOTD) Challenge for September 9, 2021: “I’m flashing my backside”.  My tomatillo flower at the top of this post is also flashing its backside!

8 thoughts on “Flower of the Day – Tomatillo

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