ABSTRACT Physalis pubescens L. is a UFP (unconventional food plant) that produces high quality fruits; however, in Rio Grande do Sul it is still considered a rare species. There is only few information regarding the characterization of these fruits in Brazil, and the main reports of this species are mainly focused on the pharmacology and agronomic conditions of the plant. The aim of this study was to analyze the physical and chemical composition, including bioactive compounds, of Physalis fruits obtained from a spontaneous culture of the southern region of Rio grande do sul. Soluble solids, total titratable acidity, vitamin C, moisture, ash, crude fiber, crude protein, lipids, carbohydrates, total caloric value, carotenoids, phenolic compounds, flavonoids and phenolic acids from pulp and seed were evaluated. It was observed that the fruit has acid characteristics (4.8%), in addition to a considerable presence of lipids (1.96%) and carbohydrates (10.85%), containing high content of carotenoids (171.36 µg β-carotene.g-1), phenolic compounds (142.83 mg.EAG.100g-1) and phenolic acids (38.55 mg EAC.100g-1). It was possible to observe that the fruits of Physalis pubescens are nutritious, presenting light acidity and they are a rich source of bioactive compounds.