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Solanum quitoense

Solanum quitoense
Solanum quitoense

Andreas of Bogotá, Colombia, aka Quimbaya@Flickr, is the photographer of today's images (original 1 | original 2 | BPotD Flickr Group Pool). Thank you once again, Andreas!

Andreas shares his observations along with his photographs: “Very aromatic fruit; the pulp is used to prepare a delicious juice. In Colombia it is known as ‘lulo’, in Ecuador as ‘naranjilla’.”.

Learning or knowing that the species is named after Quito, Ecuador (the second-highest capital city in the world) gives you an idea of its native distribution range: higher elevations in subtropical South America and Central America.

Julia Morton's Fruits of Warm Climates provides a detailed account of the horticulture and botany of Solanum quitoense, including accounts of a few (sadly) abandoned attempts to expand the commercial production of this fruit.

12 Comments

Servilletas,por favor!!

Does this only grow at higher altitudes, like the Snowberry Symphoricus Albus, ( I think).

OA

Absolutely stunning photos and an excellent illustration of the fruit's structure.

Ari, one reference I found mentioned ~1000m to ~2300m. The unrelated Symphoricarpos albus is broadly distributed and occurs from near sea-level to the subalpine, in my experience.

Ari, here in Colombia the best quality fruit is from above 1500 m and I believe the same holds true for Ecuador. It's a real pity this is not more widely known, as it is an incredibly refreshing and delicious fruit. I especially love 'lulada' as prepared in Cali, Colombia. You just squeeze the pulp from 7-8 lulos into aprox. 1 liter of fresh water, add ice cubes and sugar, and mix with a hand mixer. Serve with a shot of Vodka!

I live near Salt Lake City, Utah, USA in a zone five dry climate with alkaly soil. Do you think that this would survive here? How can I get one? Does it need a polinator?

Milo,

A Google search for "Solanum quitoense seeds" turns up a number of seed sellers, including the some ebay auctions that appear to have the correct species for sale.

I expect you could grow this as a houseplant, but I doubt that it would survive the winter in Utah. I am not familiar with any tropical Solanum that will weather a hard frost.

Cody, I removed the direct link to the eBay auction - I'd prefer not to promote a specific sale (plus they expire).

When mixed with sugar, and used as a juice, this is the most delicious fruit I have ever tasted.

will seeds from an unripe fruit sprout? I am not sure that the fruit I have is from this plant because the fruit and flower buds were all very fuzzy- not just the leaves. It definitely looked like nightshade shaped leaves and there was purple veining on the leaves as well as purple thorns on the leaves- top and bottom and thorns on the stems.

I went to costa rica many miles, deep into the rain forest to document and take photos of plants. I got like 15 photos of this plant and its fruit. I also ate it. It does not taste good it doesnt taste bad either, it taste ok if you havent eaten anything but bread beans and rice for the past week. It also tastes good with salt,thats how the local people eat it. If anyone wants photos just tell me.

I thought this was Solanum verrogeneum. oops

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