NaranjillaThe naranjilla, Solanum quitoense, is a tropical perennial plant native to northwestern South America. It is most commonly known as "naranjilla", but it also goes by the names "lulo" and "naranjillo". The plant grows best in tropical and subtropical climates and is most commonly found in Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Panama. It is a close relative of the tomato and eggplant and shares many of the same characteristics. The naranjilla is a small, shrubby plant that typically grows to between 2 and 5 feet tall.
It has green leaves that are ovate and measure around 4 inches long. The flowers are small and trumpet-shaped, and range in color from white to pink or purple. The fruit of the naranjilla is edible and has a tart, citrusy flavor. It is often used to make juice, ice cream, and smoothies. The naranjilla is a popular fruit in Latin America and is beginning to gain popularity in the United States.
Solanum quitoense is a species of nightshade found in Ecuador. It belongs to the subgenus Leptostemonum, section Lasiocarpa, and is closely related to other species within this section, such as S. candidum, S. hyporhodium, S. lasiocarpum, S. felinum, S. psudolulo, S. repandum and S. vestissimum. Solanum quitoense is a small shrub that typically grows between 0.5 and 1 meters in height. It has hairy leaves that are elliptical to lanceolate in shape, and the flowers are small and tubular, with white or pink color.
The fruit is small and spherical and turns from green to black as it matures. Solanum quitoense is found in Ecuador, where it grows in shady areas in the mid to high elevations of the Andes mountains. It is a very drought tolerant plant and can survive in areas with little water. The leaves and fruit are edible, and the plant has been used for traditional medicine by the indigenous people of Ecuador.
It is a fruit that has been proposed as a new flavoring for the global food industry. However, it fares poorly in large-scale cultivation, presenting an obstacle to its wider use. Its fruit, like tomatoes, is easily damaged when ripe, so is usually harvested unripe. The fruits are found at markets. It is common for locals to make beverages by adding sugar and water to the freshly squeezed fruits.
Solanum quitoense is a plant that has limited potential in large-scale agriculture due to its extreme vulnerability to pests and diseases. One common type of infection is caused by the root-knot nematode. The ripe fruit is very delicate and is frequently attacked by fungus, especially when mechanically damaged, so it is often picked unripe to avoid rotting. Additionally, S. quitoense-specific vascular wilt is caused by a fungus and leads to flaccid fruits and defoliation.