Tomatillos, also commonly known as husk tomatoes, are about one or two inches in size with a characteristic papery outer skin. The slightly sticky husk encloses a firm, green fruit, and as the husk begins to dry it splits open and fades from green to light brown as the fruit matures. Tomatillos are harvested when the fruits are still immature, and they have a very tart flavor, much different than their relative, the tomato. However, Tomatillo plants do grow similar to tomatoes, though they seldom require staking, set fruit faster, and are somewhat more cold tolerant. They are low sprawling plants that reach an average of two to four feet in height and produce high yields of the husked fruit, which are often described as looking like Chinese lanterns as they hang on the plant. Tomatillos are open-pollinated, meaning that their seed will reproduce plants identical to the parent, and for a good-sized crop, it is recommended that you plant two or more together to encourage cross-pollination.

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