Q: I took this picture at the North Carolina State Fair horticulture exhibit last fall. I’m curious what it is. It was a decent sized shrub – about 3 feet in height with a wider diameter.
A: Despite its fierce appearance, your plant actually provides edible fruit. Naranjilla, Solanum quitoense, is native to South America and is cultivated for its fuzzy orange fruit, which are approximately an inch in diameter. It can reach six feet high.
Naranjilla fruit are squeezed for juice and the pulp is used for pies.
This tomato relative is an annual in our climate but it thrives under the same conditions as your regular backyard tomato and eggplant.
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