Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Naranjilla, Quito Orange, Golden Fruit of the Andes, Bed of Nails
Solanum quitoense

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Solanum (so-LAN-num) (Info)
Species: quitoense (kee-toh-EN-see) (Info)

Synonym:Solanum angulatum

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

31 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Edible Fruits and Nuts
Tropicals and Tender Perennials

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction
Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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4 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Curtiss0928 On Oct 8, 2014, Curtiss0928 from Summerfield, FL wrote:

I am growing Naranjilla about 15 miles south of Ocala, fl. The plant was a bit rough when i purchased it, but has flourished with little care. We have has a wet summer and i water it when it is dry. It has blooms now, and fruit about the size of a golf ball, green and fuzzy. i am hoping it will produce fruit in the next few weeks. I have planted it next to a concrete building and will cover it in the cold so it may make it through the winter and really take off in the spring

Positive poppaj On May 16, 2012, poppaj from Sydney
Australia wrote:

I am successfully growing this strange fruit in Sydney, Australia. I was advised to hand pollinate for fruit in the first year and this has worked well with the plant flourishing and probably a dozen fruit formed. Plants are available from the Diggers Club (just Google) in Australia. The only problem I have is when to pick the fruit. Does anyone know how to tell the fruit has matured?

Positive davecito On Nov 21, 2010, davecito from Carrboro, NC wrote:

One of the greatest - but weirdest - things I think I've ever tried to grow.

I have 4 of them - 2 with spines, 2 without - and I haven't gotten them to fruit yet - they are a short day plant, so this far north (North Carolina) fruit might not happen. However, they also make extraordinary foliage plants.

Some notes on culture:

Once established, they can handle a light frost with no problem. 30F would be a good cutoff for keeping them outdoors, though mine have handled a degree or two below that. In the summer, mine needed to be kept in shade - direct strong sunlight or temps over 95F even in shade caused leaf wilt. These are the thirstiest plants I've ever seen - they need PERFECT drainage, but they also love love love lots of water. Fairly heavy feeders.

Very sensitive to root nematodes in the ground. Otherwise they are sensitive to the usual nightshade-type pests.

They generally like a lot of daily attention. That noted, if well-cared for, they will get big fast - mine hit 5 feet from seed in about 7 months. At several months of age, the main stem may slowly begin to decline, as new suckers and branches sprout from the ground, essentially transforming a large herbaceous plant into a sprawlier, shrubbier one.

With or without spines, the entire plant is very densely covered in peachfuzz - almost fur. The purple-tinted leaves are awesome, and some degree of *protected* sun exposure will deepen the leaf coloring.

Should you get them to bloom or fruit, they will readily hybridize with coconas (solanum sessiliflorum), pseudolulo (solanum pseudolulo), and a few others of the edible shrubby solanums.

Positive lourspolaire On Sep 1, 2005, lourspolaire from Delray Beach, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

I purchased this plant at the Montreal Botanical Garden in May 2005.

The plant is covered in prickly spines. They are found on both sides of the leaves, the stems and the stalk . That appealed to me. The leaves are also quite unusual in colour, sporting a mauve/purple hue. This plant is largely unknown here. It is quite the conversation piece, even among gardeners. It also makes a statement to the squirrels: leave me alone! They learn quickly.

I planted one in a large container on the deck. The other was planted in the ground. Both are in full sun. With regular watering and fertilizing, they grew quickly. The one in the planter is in bloom whereas the other one gives no indication it may bloom soon.

This is very tropical plant. I imagine it would faint at the first hint of frost. A friend of mine will adopt both plants early this fall. She has a greenhouse. She hopes to pamper them and get them to bear fruit.

I have enjoyed growing these plants from seedlings in a 2-inch pot to sturdy plants 24 inches tall and still growing.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Calistoga, California
Richmond, California
San Jose, California
San Leandro, California
Dunnellon, Florida
Lakeland, Florida
Ocala, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Oviedo, Florida
Summerfield, Florida
Loganville, Georgia
Kurtistown, Hawaii
Lafayette, Louisiana
Buffalo, New York
Henderson, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Cottage Grove, Oregon
Blythewood, South Carolina
Murrells Inlet, South Carolina

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