Common Names and Uses
Common names: Colombia; lulo, naranjilla. Ecuador: naranjilla. Uses: One of the most esteemed fruit crops in Andean South America; the raw fruits are sweetened to make a delicious juice. The tart yet sweet flavor is very refreshing, and many travelers look forward to partaking of “jugo de lulo.” However, nowadays (in 2005) it is rare, at least in highland Ecuador, to be offered unadulterated lulo juice. Solanum quitoense is susceptible to attack by nematodes and other pests, limiting its cultivation. In recent years its has been hybridized with various species, especially with S. sessiliflorum, with the result that most “lulo” grown and served in Ecuador comes from this hybrid (Heiser et al., 2005). The hybrid can be distinguished from the true lulo by the color of its fruit pulp: pure Solanum quitoense has bright green fruit pulp, whereas the hybrids most often have yellowish or, at most, light greenish fruit pulp.
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