Solanum quitoense (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Solanum quitoense Lamk

Family: Solanaceae

Vernacular names

  • Naranjilla (En)
  • Morelle de Quito (Fr)
  • Indonesia: terong kuning (Malay).


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 South-East Asia mainly in Indonesia and the Philippines.


After removing the hairs, the fruits are consumed fresh or prepared. An excellent juice is prepared from the pulp. The fruits are also used for flavouring ice-cream, and for jelly, jam, preserves and cooked desserts.


  • A semi-herbaceous shrub, up to 3 m tall. All young parts covered with stellate purplish hairs.
  • Leaves elliptical to ovate, up to 60 cm × 45 cm, succulent, margins toothed.
  • Flowers white, in clusters of 1-10.
  • Fruit a berry, 1-6 per cluster, globose, 5-6 cm in diameter, orange, covered with brown hairs, filled with numerous small seeds.

Propagation is by seeds or by cleft grafting on nematode- resistant species. Field spacing is 2-2.5 m × 2-2.5 m, preferably on fertile well-drained soils. Fruiting starts 1 year after sowing and plants are harvested 2 years. Yield is 1-2 t fruits/year per ha. In Ecuador cutivated at 1300-2300 m altitude. Rainfall 1500 mm per year or more, optimum temperature range 17-19°C, 30°C is the upper limit.

Selected sources

  • Backer, C.A. & Bakhuizen van den Brink, R.C., 1963 1968. Flora of Java. 3 Volumes. Noordhoff, Groningen, the Netherlands.
  • Fouqué, A., 1972-1974. Espèces fruitières d'Amérique tropicale. Fruits 27-29.
  • Heiser, C.B. Jr., 1969. Nightshades, the paradoxical plants. Freeman & Company, San Francisco. 200 pp.
  • Mansfeld, R. & Schultze Motel, J., 1986. Verzeichnis landwirtschaftlicher und gärtnerischer Kuturpflanzen. 2nd ed. 4 Volumes. Springer Verlag, Berlin. 1998 pp.
  • Morton, J.F., 1987. Fruits of warm climates. Creative Resource Systems Inc., Winterville, N.C., USA. 503 pp.
  • Ochse, J.J., 1927. Indische vruchten [Indonesian fruits]. Volkslectuur, Weltevreden. 330 pp.
  • Ochse, J.J., Soulé, M.J., Dijkman, M.J. & Wehlburg, C., 1961. Tropical and subtropical agriculture. 2 Volumes. The Macmillan Company, New York. 1446 pp.


P.C.M. Jansen, J. Jukema, L.P.A. Oyen, T.G. van Lingen