Naranjilla: The Little Orange Plant

The Naranjilla plant grows in South America in Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia. In Spanish, the name Naranjilla means “little orange.” In Quechua, an indigenous language from the Andes Mountains, the plant is called Lulo. Its scientific name is Solanum quitoense.

The plant has golf-ball sized fruit with orange peels. People say its fruit tastes like pineapple and lemon. It is very healthy. The fruit can be eaten on its own, like an orange or tangerine. It is also used as a flavoring in ice cream and other desserts. In Colombia, it is mixed with lime juice, water, sugar, and ice to create a drink called lulada.

The plant is very popular, but it does not grow many places. It needs a lot of attention to grow. If you ever do see it, be careful when you touch it. It has prickly hair that can hurt your skin!