I found this strange plant growing in our yard, near the base of the cliff. It is closely related to a very familiar plant. What is it?
This is a Ground Cherry (Physalis sp.) It is a member of the Nightshade family, which also includes tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, and the Ground Cherry's close relative, the tomatillo. Inside the strange shaped husk is a small, round fruit. Many species of Ground Cherry are edible, but some members of the Nightshade family are toxic, so I will not be tasting these until I key out what species they are.