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Plant Description: The naranjilla cannot tolerate temperatures over 85 °F (29.4 °C). It is not adapted to full sun but favors semi-shade. The alternate leaves are oblong-ovate, to 2 ft (60 cm) long and 18 in (45 cm) wide, soft and woolly. There may be few or many spines on petioles, midrib and lateral veins, above and below, or the leaves may be completely spineless. Young leaves, young stems and petioles are coated with richly purple stellate hairs. A brown, hairy coat protects the fruit until it is fully ripe, when the hairs can be easily rubbed off, showing the bright-orange, smooth, leathery, fairly thick peel.
Scientific Name: Solanum quitoense
Common Name: (English) naranjilla, golden fruit of the Andes, Quito orange; (Spanish) (Ecuador) naranjilla de Quito, nuqui; (Peru) naranjita de Quito; (Mexico) lulun; (Colombia) lulo, naranjilla, toronjalulo; (French) morelle de Quito; naranjille; orange de Quito
Relatives: Cocona, pepino or melon shrub,tree tomato, tamarillo
Origin: Native to the Andean region, Ecuador, Peru, Columbia
Distribution/History: Native of the the Andean highlands of Ecuador, Peru and Colombia, now it has been introduced into most tropical and subtropical regions of the world as a fruit crop. In recent years, it has been introduced in South-East Asia mainly in Indonesia and the Philippines.
Importance: Ripe naranjillas, freed of hairs, may be casually consumed out-of-hand by cutting in half and squeezing the contents of each half into the mouth. The empty shells are discarded.