Physalis peruviana is one of our least known but tastiest late summer fruits. I always eagerly anticipate the clean, tangy and juicy berries hiding inside a pretty, papery, bell-like coating.

And you’re right. I very rarely introduce a plant by its Latin name, even if that’s the only way of being sure you’re identifying it correctly.

Physalis peruviana has no universally recognised English version. Browse the catalogues and the commonest ones you’ll find are “Cape gooseberry”, “Goldenberry”, or “Inca berry”.

So, to avoid any doubt we’ll stick to the Latin here.

This is a vigorous, by and large disease-free plant that yields a generous tasty crop when there’s little other soft fruit around, so I can’t understand why it’s never taken off here.

A perennial in its New World home, it is frost sensitive so, here, must be grown as an annual and treated like tomatoes which are successfully grown in many parts of Scotland.

Several nurseries supply seed, which is easy to germinate and grow on, but I confess I haven’t had to buy any for years since a few always get going in the compost heap.

Sow, prick out and plant outdoors when there’s little chance of a late frost.

You may need to use a greenhouse in some parts of the country and this also guarantees a heavy crop during a dull grey summer, as is often our fate.

But at 200m, I can usually get a harvest from one grown in a sunny, sheltered corner against the south-facing wall of the house.

P. peruviana needs moderately fertile, well-drained soil or compost and must be kept well-watered: with a height and spread of 1.5m, it’s a thirsty plant.

I do recommend using a large 45 litre pot rather than the open ground since given half a chance it may grow more than you’d like.

However you grow it, physalis needs supports for the long arms it produces and from mid-August, you’ll be rewarded with a mass of beautiful papery bells, turning from green to a dry pinkish colour when they’re ready.

Keep an eye on the bush and pick off when the papery calyx is dry and usually drops easily into your hand.

Plant of the week

Salvia ’Nachtvlinder’ is a long flowering bushy sage with neat, green foliage that is blackcurrant scented. From summer into autumn dark purple flowers are borne on spikes above the foliage. Thrives best in well drained soil and sun where it will be evergreen except in hard winters.. Once established it is fairly drought proof.