Solanum sessiliflorum, Cocona seeds
Solanum sessiliflorum seeds
Solanum sessiliflorum belongs to the family of the Solanacea, the nightshades. It is also known as Cocona. S. sessiliflorum is native to Peru and the upper Amazonas region.
The Cocona resembles Solanum quitoense (Lulo) in its vegetative characteristics, but the fruits look different. S. sessiliflorum is a shrub that can reach a height of about 2m. The shoot and the branches are pubescent. The leaves are 25 to 45 cm long and 20 to 39 cm wide. They are ovate and dentate at the leaf edge. In contratry to S. quitoense the midrib and the side ribs are not violet but slightly white. The trunk and the leaves have rarely thorns. The flowers are greenish whitish, the calyx is campanulate. The flowers resemble the potato flower. They are clustered in inflorescences of 6 to 16 flowers. Per inflorescence 1 to 3 fruits develop. The fruits are round or oval, about 10cm long and 6 cm wide. Before they are ripe, the fruits are covered with hairs just like the peach fruit. After ripening the fruits lose those hairs and are smooth. They are yellow or orange or can get even get red. The fruits can be eaten but they have a bitter taste. The natives eat the fruits just out of the hand. It can be also eaten as jam or in a salad. Mixed with fruits of S. quitoense it shall taste even better. The natives use S. sessiliflorum sometimes to get rid of head lice.
In the pulp there are 200 to 8000 creamy colored seeds which are 4mm long and 2,7mm wide. The seeds are removed from the pulp and then they are fermented for 2 days in the sun.
S. sessiliflorum should be placed warm and light (25°C). The seed have to be put into warm water for 2 to 4h before planting. They can then be planted 1 cm deep into the soil. The soil should be moist but not really wet. Germination occurs after 15 to 40 days.