Sunday, February 10, 2008


Solanum quitoense
(so-LAN-num) (kee-toh-EN-see)
Synonyms: Lulo, Quito Orange, Golden Fruit of the Andes, Bed of Nails, Solanum angulatum

Having never seen this plant before my trip to the Bartlett Arboretum before I had to look it up. Since it was planted amongst the tropical plant display I figured it was tender and that was correct (Zone 10). I didn’t know they produced an edible tropical fruit known as the Naranjilla or the ‘little orange’, which refers to the color of the fruit when ripe; not the citrus type of orange. This member of the Nightshade family is mostly a South American native comes in two different types. the spiny wild version and the smooth cultivated type. Cultivation has spread around the Caribbean, Central America and to Hawaii and Florida.

It wasn’t fruiting when I took these pictures in October. I read that it is very difficult to get it to fruit in the temperate latitudes. You can grow it indoors and enjoy the purple hairs the new foliage gets. The leaves are attractive when they mature also.


Unknown said...

Very cool! I knew it was a Solanum as soon as I saw it, but had never heard of it before. Sounds like an interesting plant, but not one for my climate!

Sandy Kessler said...

taking my breath away literally - dropped an broke my nikon today what is an inexpensive but good digital??

joey said...

Naranjilla is a beauty for sure ... great shot!

Les said...

I was given this plant to grow as an annual one summer, and it thrived in our zone 8 heat and humidity. It did produce fruit late in the season, which I was told was edible - it may have been edible, but it was also nasty. The top of the leaves were covered with thorns and consequently was not bothered by passers-by.

Anonymous said...

taste the leaves, it's sour. i love to pick onthis long time ago when we spend vacation at my grandmom's place and they grow alot beside the stream. :)

Valerie Anderson said...

Hello! My name is Valerie and I'm a student at the University of Florida. I was wondering if I could use this picture for a power point presentation I am giving on Naranjilla for my Tropical and Subtropical Fruit Production Class.
Thank you for you time, and, of course, for taking such lovely pictures.