(Note: This plant is no longer produced by incredible edibles®.)
One of the lost fruits of the Incas, the usually spineless naranjilla is believed to be indigenous and most abundant in Peru, Ecuador and southern Colombia. The forms found in the rest of Colombia and in the central and northern Andes of Venezuela and interior mountain ranges of Costa Rica may vary from partly to very spiny. Some botanists have suggested that these spiny forms belong to the botanical variety septentrionale. In Ecuador, 90% of commercial naranjilla cultivation is in a 15-mile area in the valley and adjacent hillsides of the Pastaza River, a tributary of the Amazon. The original introductions of this species were quite spiny but with this form it is only the fruit that carry some spines.
This stunning sub-tropical plant can be planted anywhere the large leaves can be admired and the orange fruit eaten. Try in a container on the deck or simply in the garden as a bold specimen.
The fruit is rich in vitamins A and C, Carbohydrates, Calcium, Niacin & Ascorbic Acid.
How to Eat
Eat fresh by squeezing out contents onto ice cream or fruit salad, use cooked in pies, with sherbet, or make into a juice or spreads like marmalade.
A good annual yield is 135 fruits (9 kg) per plant
Generic Fruiting Time
Best foliage colour is achieved by planting where it will receive direct morning sunlight and shade from hot afternoon sun.
Provide protection from heavy wind & salty maritime locations.
Frosts & freezing temperatures will damage these plants, but it also does not like too hot either.
The plant does best in a rich, organic soil will also grows well on poor, stony ground, and on scarified limestone as long as it has good drainage.
In frost prone areas try in a container so protection can be given during the cold periods.
Provide plenty of moisture and small amounts of general or organic fertiliser in the growing season.
Prune to maintain dense growth and to prevent woody branches. A need to prune after the frosts have passed to give a better shape to the plant.
Naranjillas are susceptible to root rot therefore must be planted in a well drained soil.