Author Topic: First Cocona (Solanum sessiflorum) Flowers  (Read 1042 times)

elouicious

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First Cocona (Solanum sessiflorum) Flowers
« on: October 19, 2021, 06:33:27 PM »
Was doing the normal watering last night and found some new blooms on very tiny Cocona plants-

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I was able to get some better pictures this morning-

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They are quite favored in peru, some people say it is better than Lulo but we will have to see if we can get fruit, there are also red and orange varieties so should be fun to watch

roblack

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Re: First Cocona (Solanum sessiflorum) Flowers
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2021, 10:55:07 PM »
Exciting! Keep us posted on your progress, and especially the fruit.


elouicious

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Re: First Cocona (Solanum sessiflorum) Flowers
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2021, 09:44:22 PM »
Just realizing another potential benefit of this species over Lulo while browsing Ken Ferns DB

Solanum sessiliflorum is a small prickly perennial plant with a woody base from which annual to perennial stems growing about 1 - 2 metres tall are produced. The stems of cultivated forms are usually unarmed, though they sometimes bear prickles.
Like its highland relative the lulo (Solanum quitoense), the cocona is a regionally important domesticated fruit that may have great unrealized potential as a tropical fruit crop. It has long been cultivated in the Amazon area by the Indian population for its fruits, this use has gradually spread and the plant is now grown pantropically

this suggests Lulo has difficulty being grown at or near sea level?

when looking at his entry for Lulo there is apparently contradictory information-


Plants can be grown from quite low elevations in the tropics up to an elevation of 2,500 metres or more. They do not do well in hot, lowland tropical areas

NateTheGreat

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Re: First Cocona (Solanum sessiflorum) Flowers
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2021, 12:37:49 PM »
I don't see what's contradictory. Sounds like lulo is not heat tolerant, a cloud forest plant, while cocona does better with heat. There are lowland areas along the cost, like San Francisco, where the summers aren't too hot. I have some small lulos I started from seed this summer. They seem pretty tough so far. I also started dwarf tamarillo, and they look identical.

elouicious

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Re: First Cocona (Solanum sessiflorum) Flowers
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2021, 01:10:40 PM »
The statement under sessiflorum suggests quitoense is restricted to higher elevations, while the page for quitoense says "Plants can be grown from quite low elevation" which is imprecise to say the least.

I have had at least one person reach out to me and mention Lulo has struggled near sea level, I haven't tried it myself though, Lulo seems to be a highly prized fruit that many people on here have an interest in growing, perhaps cocona has similar potential

roblack

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Re: First Cocona (Solanum sessiflorum) Flowers
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2021, 03:49:27 PM »
Growing lulo from cutting and lulo seedlings from forum member blaufer.

Cutting did well over the summer, and was planted in ground. Something has been munching on it, and it currently looks poor. New growth popping though. Think it will be okay with care.

Seedlings are growing well, but very small.

Cocona is welcome to join them!

elouicious

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Re: First Cocona (Solanum sessiflorum) Flowers
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2021, 09:52:05 PM »
Flowers abound-






No tiny fruit that I can see yet

TriangleJohn

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Re: First Cocona (Solanum sessiflorum) Flowers
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2021, 07:40:10 AM »
I'm in Raleigh NC (zone 7b) with an outdoor in-the-ground fruit and veg garden and a large greenhouse for tropicals. I used to collect all different types of Solanum including true Lulo and Cocona. Our summers have only gotten hotter and drier over the years and Lulo just can't take the heat. Cocona handles everything just fine and I get a bumper crop every year and it is the only species from that collection that I still grow. I could only keep Lulo happy if I grew them in large tubs and moved them into the cooler/shadier areas of the yard during the heat of summer.

Raleigh sits on the edge of the coastal plain at about 600 feet above sea level. The only problem I have with these plants is that they catch any disease specific to tobacco and this is or was a big tobacco growing area so there are lots of disease in the soil. I find that if I sow fresh seed every year (usually at the end of January in the house, not outside) I can expect a good harvest by the end of October without any problems. Taking cuttings and rooting them and growing them in the greenhouse is when I see diseases pop up. Those plants will survive but be stunted even if planted outside the following spring.

Cocona grown here are pretty bland if eaten fresh but the flavor is very tropical and citrusy is cooked and sweetened. The lulo I used to grow tasted a lot like a good tangerine.

elouicious

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Re: First Cocona (Solanum sessiflorum) Flowers
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2021, 09:31:43 AM »
Fabulous info-

Thanks TrangleJohn

I have a old friend in Raleigh new to growing things I may have to point your way for some tips

do you know if you were growing the red fleshed or orange fleshed variety?

did you let them ripen like a persimmon?

cheers

TriangleJohn

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Re: First Cocona (Solanum sessiflorum) Flowers
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2021, 12:23:47 PM »
I have purchased seeds from numerous sources and some had a photo of the red pear-shaped version but all of the fruit I've grown ended up looking the same - gold yellow ping pong ball sized round fruit. I do have to pick them right before frost and they might turn a darker color if I could keep them going longer. I will add that I have better germination with home grown seed, but you can usually get a few to sprout with purchased seed and each fruit has a ton of seeds in it.

I was hoping to cross Cocona with Lulo but I needed to succeed with growing them at first. I started down this path in 2010 when I visited friends in Colombia and they said that the hybrid fruit makes the best juice. I do like the flavor of Lulo the best but our summers are just too hot and steamy.

I'm on the south side of Raleigh, right off the beltline. There isn't much to see in the garden right now but in the spring this place comes alive.

MisterPlantee

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Re: First Cocona (Solanum sessiflorum) Flowers
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2021, 10:02:33 AM »
My elevation is close to sea level (under 100') and temperatures in the summer are 80-90. I grew Lulo in a pot at first and then in the ground. It did pretty well in direct sunlight, no shading required but seemed to grow faster in the tail end of summer-fall. I ended up repotting the plant to put into the greenhouse for the winter.. I tried growing the false Lulo but they didn't seem to grow very well at all

It has maybe a dozen fruits that are still green, about 1.5x larger than a golf ball.

I have heard that grafting Lulo to Cocona makes for a more rugged plant, I wonder if anyone here has tried that



spencerw

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Re: First Cocona (Solanum sessiflorum) Flowers
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2021, 02:43:35 PM »
very nice! my coconas flowered for over a year before they actually made a fruit here in lowland hawaii. they grow from cuttings ok, but much faster and more vigorous from seed. mine was a red variety. much smaller than lulo fruits. lulo is typically very spiny here, but the cocona was completely thornless and grew into a much larger plant. lulo is much more juicy leading more toward utilizing in preserves. cocona is so small and not very juicy. flavor is kind of like a lemon. was much better on miracle berry though

JoshuaTilaranCR

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Re: First Cocona (Solanum sessiflorum) Flowers
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2021, 03:41:34 PM »
I remember reading through this thread and wondering what this fruit was, not knowing I tried it before and was upset it wasn't what I bought it as, naranjilla. I still made a juice out of it and it had this prickly, stinging effect in my throat. Nothing crazy but I certainly felt it. How do people on here use this fruit? Do you cook it, eat it raw, make drinks like naranjilla/lulo? Here is a picture of some I saw at the farmers market yesterday. I didn't buy any but the ones I bought before had a white/green/cream colored center instead of the translucent lulo.



elouicious

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Re: First Cocona (Solanum sessiflorum) Flowers
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2021, 04:26:35 PM »
Those are them!

I was told by a peruvian to let them get soft like a persimmon but have not had the chance or time in peru to do it successfully

JoshuaTilaranCR

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Re: First Cocona (Solanum sessiflorum) Flowers
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2021, 08:51:27 PM »
Those are them!

I was told by a peruvian to let them get soft like a persimmon but have not had the chance or time in peru to do it successfully

Ah ok! The ones I used were still hard so they obviously weren't at their best. Maybe I'll grab some again to try. I was a little put off by them, especially because I thought they were going to be lulo.

TriangleJohn

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Re: First Cocona (Solanum sessiflorum) Flowers
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2021, 07:52:18 PM »
Mine have to be harvested in early November due to frosty weather so I don't think mine are actually "ripe" ripe like those in the photo. You can rub all the bristly hairs off of them easily with a glove. Eaten raw they taste like raw yellow squash to me but if you cook them down (til they basically dissolve) and add some sugar and a small splash of lemon juice they explode in flavor.  Very tangy, kind of like a tangerine mixed with some mango. They don't taste like anything else. Easy care free plant to grow. They do take up some space and you have to grow a bunch of them to get enough fruit to do a lot with.

JoshuaTilaranCR

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Re: First Cocona (Solanum sessiflorum) Flowers
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2021, 12:59:07 AM »
Thank you for that info! I'll give them a try again soon.

 

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