1-4" across, orange-yellow, or red colored fruit, with yellow pulp and a fruity tomato-like flavor.
Small shrub to around 6ft. Leaves and unripe fruit are hairy. The plant looks quite a bit like the naranjilla and it is likely possible to hybridize the two species. The cocona can fruit from seed in just 6-9 months, fruits taking just 8 weeks to ripen under standard conditions. There are a number of different cocona strains, ranging in size and shape, from purple-red to yellow, and small to large. Flowers are self-fertile and the cocona is not picky as to soil type, as long as there is adequate drainage.
Not frost hardy.
Grow in full sun and protect from frost.
By seed and root cuttings.
Eaten fresh, used in desserts, beverages, and can be used much like the tomato. Certain varieties are highly prized for their juice. Recent studies may indicate the possibility of high-cholesterol fighting compounds contained within the cocona.
Native to the Amazon and Orinoco river regions in South America. However, the plant is not found in the wild, only in cultivation. Fruits rarely reach beyond local markets in Central and South America.