Solanum quitoense, Naranjilla,, Lulo seeds
Solanum quitoense, Naranjilla seeds
Solanum quitoense belongs to the family of the Solanaceae, the nightshades. It is also called Lulo and the Spanish know her as Naranjilla which means in German “little orange”. The 3 to 6 cm small fruit do indeed resemble an orange. In Germany they are hardly known because even when picked up unripe they ripe very fast and would arrive plashy in Germany after the long transport. In its home country Equador and Columbia the fruits of S. quitoense are mixed with water and milk and served as juice. This juice is very rich in vitamins. Die unripe fruits as well as all other parts of the plant are as one knows from the Solanaceae poisonous. The fruits include various seeds which are yellowish or brownish and very small (4mm). The leaves of the shrub can get very big, up to half a meter in length. The leaves are hairy. The leaf edge is dentate. The midnerve and the sidenerves are rose and there are spikes on them. The shoot is also very hairy. The flowers are small, white and are placed directly at the shoot with only a small stem (15mm). The flowers do not stand alone. Up to 24 flowers form an inflorescence.
Solanum quitoense is cultivated in the Andes up to an altitude of 2400 m. The cultivation from S. quitoense at home is not quite a problem. The seeds germinate quickly and the plant grows well.