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Solanum quitoense Naranjilla


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This plant is a spreading, herbaceous shrub to 8 ft (2.5 m) high with stems that become woody with age; spiny in the wild species, but spineless in cultivated plants. The leaves are soft and woolly with purple lateral veins, above and below the leaves. Young leaves, young stems and petioles are coated with richly purple stellate hairs. There are many clusters of fragrant flowers The unopened buds are covered with purple 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. The fruit, crowned with a 5-pointed calyx and is round, 2 1/2 in (6.25 cm) across and contains 4 compartments filled with translucent green or yellowish, very juicy, slightly acid pulp of delicious flavor which has been likened to pineapple-and-lemon. There are numerous pale-buff seeds like the tomato.

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