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a genus of annual herbs of the family Solanaceae. It includes one species, the apple of Peru (Nicandra physaloides). The stem, which measures 30 to 100 cm tall, is ribbed and branching. The alternate leaves are sinuate-dentate or lobed, and the flowers are large, solitary, and nodding. The perianth is five-parted, the calyx has five winged ribs, and the corolla has a white tubule and a lilac or bluish blade. The globose fruit is an almost dry berry; it is enclosed in an inflated calyx (up to 3.5 cm in diameter) and ranges in color from green to dark violet.
The apple of Peru grows in South America (Peru). It is fed to livestock as silage. The green parts of the plant contain a glycoside of the physalin type, and the seeds contain a semisiccative oil. The apple of Peru is cultivated as an ornamental in many countries; it escapes from cultivation and naturalizes easily. In the USSR, primarily in southern regions, the plant grows as a weed in melon fields, vineyards, and gardens.