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Solanaceae Solanum quitoense Lam.

Source: Magness et al. 1971

This fruit is native to the Northern Andes, in South America, where it is extensively cultivated at elevations of 3,000 to 7,000 feet. The plant is a strong-growing herb, up to 10 feet. Leaves are large, ovate, up to 18 inches long. Plants are thorny and most parts are pubescent. Fruits are borne at the leaf axils. They are globular, up to 2.5 inches diameter, and covered with brittle hairs which are readily rubbed off. The rather thin skin encloses a green colored acid pulp in which seeds are embedded, as in tomatoes. Fruits are used for juice, preserves and pies. Plants produce a crop in less than a year from seed, and continue to produce for 3 or more years. Most of the crop ripens in early spring. It is not grown commercially in the U.S. at present, but will thrive at higher elevations in Puerto Rico and probably in Hawaii.

Last update February 18, 1999 by ch