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Solanum melongena

Pronunciation: So-lan-num mel-on-gen-uh
Family: Solanaceae (nightshade family)
Common Name: Eggplant, aubergine
Plant Type:
  • fruits, vegetables
  • annual
Height to: 3-4'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -20 to -30ºF ZONE 4
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
Bloom Season:
  • late summer
  • early autumn
Bloom Description: The flowers are purple and give rise to the fruits (berries, actually) which may be black, purple, green, white, striped, and even red or orange. Eggplants come in many shapes, sizes and colors.
Plant Perks:
  • Container Gardening
Pests and Diseases: Eggplant foliage is susceptible to damage from colorado potato beetles, whose fat soft gray larvae are easily removed by hand. Little shiny black flea beetles can also be a problem, but can be controlled with soap spray.
Propagation: Start eggplant seeds as you would tomato or pepper seeds, 6-10 weeks before setting out. Be sure there is no chance of frost and that the soil is warm before transplanting eggplant seedlings. Eggplants are best set out 2-3 weeks after the average last frost date. They are much more sensitive to cold than are tomato or pepper seedlings. Space eggplants 3-4 ft (0. 8-1. 2 m) apart and stake or cage to keep them from falling over when they are laden with fruit.
Native to: Eggplant originated in southeast asia, probably india. This is unusual, because most of the edible members of the nightshade family originated in the new world. Many poisonous plants in the same botanical family, such as tobacco, nightshade, angel trumpet and jimson weed, are also of new world origin. Eggplant is cultivated as a food crop in all warm areas of the world, and many different varieties have become associated with different regions, for example italian eggplants, japanese eggplants or middle eastern eggplants.
Notes for Identification: Source: floridata - eggplants can be picked at any stage of development, but are at their best while the skin is glossy before it becomes dull, and before the seeds start to harden and turn brown. Over mature eggplants tend to be bitter, especially the seeds. Eggplants keep only a couple days after picking. They quickly get soft and mushy and begin to spoil, and refrigeration only hastens the process. Leave them on the plant until you are ready to use them - or freeze them. Eggplant got its name because the first varieties to be cultivated in north america were shaped like hen's eggs. They came in several colors and were grown as ornamentals, not for food. Eggplants are called "aubergines" in europe, "eggfruit" in australia, "garden egg" in west africa, and "brown jolly' in the west indies. It has been reported that eating eggplant decreases serum cholesterol levels
Located in: Seed Photos
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