Solanum quitoense

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 Solanum quitoense subsp. var.  Naranjilla
File:Lulo r.jpg
Habit: shrub
Height: to
Width: to
7ft 7ft
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Width: warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. to 7 ft
Lifespan: perennial
Exposure: sun
Features: edible, fruit
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Minimum Temp: °Fwarning.png"°F" is not a number.
USDA Zones: 10 to 12
Sunset Zones:
Flower features: white
Solanaceae > Solanum quitoense var. ,

Solanum quitoense, known as naranjilla (Template:IPA-es, "little orange") in Ecuador and as lulo in Colombia, is a subtropical perennial plant from northwestern South America. The scientific name means "nightshade from Quito", and it is indeed a member of the Nightshade family.

The naranjilla plant is attractive, with large heart-shaped leaves up to 45 cm in length. The leaves and stems of the plant are covered in short purple hairs. Naranjilla are delicate plants and must be protected from strong winds and direct sunlight. They grow best in partial shade.

The fruit has a citrus flavour, sometimes described as a combination of rhubarb and lime. The juice of the naranjilla is green and is often used as a drink.

The new growth of this plant is densely covered in protective trichomes. Coloration in the plant's trichomes around the new growth and flowers varies from purple to white. Identification can be difficult for this reason.



Pests and diseases

Pests easily destroy a crop of this species. This limits its use for agriculture. One common type of infection is caused by the root-knot nematode. The ripe fruit can be attacked by fungus fairly easily, so it is often picked unripe to avoid rotting.[1]


Hybrids are an increasingly popular solution to the nematode pest problem. Solanum quitoense has been hybridized with other plants, most commonly with S. sessiliflorum, a plant with similar phenotypic traits. The leaves, flowers and fruits of S. sessiliflorum are similar in form to S. quitoense, but has much larger fruits that are yellow; the resulting hybrids have fruits with yellowish fruit pulp.[2]



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