Throughout high school and college anime series like xxxHolic represented the largest portion of my animation consumption. There are so many more options in terms of compelling sci-fi and fantasy genre storytelling that it actually represented the bulk of my attention toward storytelling media in general. One of my favorite episodes of xxxHolic is “Ground Cherry” (sub-version available for streaming at Funimation’s youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOo-y87UeOo) If you’re new to the series you might want to watch a few of the earlier episodes as it’s actually a pretty clever take on the standard mid-season episode summing up what’s happened and who has been introduced thus far. To my surprise I’ve discovered ground cherries growing in my yard right here in Florida.
I could actually use a little help identifying the precise species shown in the images above. *Edit: Judging from some links my sister sent me I think it’s the Florida native Walter’s Ground Cherry Physalis walteri.* I love coming across plants with cultural significance. *even if it’s just a similar looking member of the same genus* As I brainstorm ideas for future projects created from certain species of plants I always research whether it appears in any folklore or has any other significance to the people from where it originates. I have some animation based on the Pohutukawa tree from New Zealand sitting on the backburner which is just such a project.
I let this plant keep growing because it resembled an eggplant (I think it’s actually a tomato relative). I only discovered its flower and fruit because of my renewed attention to the minute details of plants due in part to my animation practice which was directly sustained by a love for anime. The ground cherry is very representative of my art. Every time I see this plant in my yard the first thing I think of is xxxHolic.