Naranjilla (Solanum quitoense)


Naranjilla (Solanum quitoense), June 2011.

The Lulo is a South American member of the Nightshade family (Solanaceae). In Spanish-speaking regions the Lulo is mostly called Naranjilla. Recently the plant is promotionally effectiv merchandised under the expression Jurassica. The plant is of strikingly beauty and an adornment of any collection.


The plants can grow up to a head-high shrub with irregular branching. The branches are woody. The very large leaves are special to mention. These can reach a length of 50 centimetres and are of oak-like shape with a dentate margin. The nervures turn dark red in direct sun and contrast thus interesting with the dark green basic colouration of the leaf. Both, leaves and branches are armed with strong spikes. In summer develop in the leaf axils grape-like arranged, radial, white flowers, from which result tomato-sized, orange fruits in autumn. These are sourly and can be manufactured into juice for example.


One of the most important problems is, as with other exotic plants, to get germinable seeds. If you are once in the possession of the same, the further propagation and culture is similar unproblematic as with tomatoes. Seeds germ within a few days. Plants grow quickly in good soil, branching begins spontaneously and does not have to be induced by cutting back. Because of the large leaf surface the Lulo has a high water demand. Cultivate the plant outdoor in summer, overwintering light, frost-free, but rather cool.

In summer garpe-like arranged, large flowers develop in the leaf axils, which are nearly to hundred per cent pollinated by insects. Until late autumn tomato-sized fruits develop.



In summer 2009 I got seeds, which germed within a few days.


Since then, the plant grew well and started branching. The now one-year-old plant had several flowers in summer and got small fruits, which were dropped unripe in winter quarter.


Until now the plant shows a sattisfying growth.

You can purchase seeds on this site at Amazon.

  • Systematics

  • Order: Solanales
  • Family: Solanaceae
  • Genus: Solanum
  • Subgenus: Leptostemonum
  • Propagation

  • generative
  • Culture

  • easy
  • Fruits

  • often
  • USDA – Zone

  • 10b (1,7°C)