Saturday, October 20, 2012

Giant Cape Gooseberry capes

Cape Gooseberries do well in my garden. They germinate readily, crop well, and yield almost 100% - pests try, but almost completely fail to get to the berries. Berries are good to eat even after falling to the ground and waiting there for a few days. That's when they're at their ripest, and sweetest!

Now that their fruit are ripening in the Southern Hemisphere spring, I'm checking each of my plants almost daily for sufficiently ripe fruit. One ice cream box is already full of caped berries; I'll have to process them into jam soon, or cart them off to my mother and get my share of the spoils: gooseberry cake! Here's how the ripening berries normally look while still on the mother plant:
The one resting on the base of my thumb will be ripe enough to eat in a few days to a week or so. Or to store in the fridge: another welcome trait of this plant - the berries keep well.

But this isn't all I found on this stand. (It's a few individual plants that are hard to tell apart.) Hiding in the foliage were these strangely giant capes:
They're about twice the normal size! The berries inside feel no bigger than normal though, so I'm not expecting a bounty of berries the size of a crab apple. Would be cool though! (And there's still time for these green fruit to develop. Maybe the berries will still fill out their calyx and surprise me.)

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