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A picture of a Eggplant


Solanum melongena

Also known as

Aubergine, Brinjal, Eiervrug (Afr.), Jew's apple, Mad apple

Solanum-melongena-024 by Danny S. (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size








6 months to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

Harvest starts about 3 months after planting. Cut the fruit off the plant, do not twist or pull. Fruits should feel full and heavy.

More images of Eggplant

A close up of a purple Solanum melongena flower
A close up of some aubergine Solanum melongena fruits on a plant
A close up of an aubergine Solanum melongena fruit on a plant
A close up of a green Solanum melongena plant
A close up of a green Solanum melongena plant

Eggplant Overview

Solanum melongena is a branching shrub species that typically grows to around 2m high. It produces a long taproot which extends deep underground, anchoring the plant and enabling it to source water from low down below the soil. Leaves are arranged alternately on stems and foliage is densely hairy and sometimes prickly. Flowers are usually produced individually rather than in clusters, these are star-shaped, with wide, spreading petals. They measure 3-4cm wide and are coloured purple, occasionally white, with prominent, stocky yellow stamens in the centre. Aubergine is a fruit in the tomato family, Solanaceae and much like tomatoes, aubergine is a commonly used vegetable in cooking. It is used heavily in vegetarian cuisine as it has a fairly bland flavour and so can be combined with a multitude of flavours. It is also called eggplant because the fruits look egg-shaped when young. There are many different cultivars, showing a range of size and fruit colours. There is even a white aubergine!

Common problems with Eggplant

Eggplant Companion Plants

How to propagate Eggplant


Best sown in spring and summer. Sow between 6-8 mm deep, germination should occur in 7-14 days.

Special features of Eggplant

Attracts bees

Attractive flowers

Other uses of Eggplant

Fruit, culinary, food. Contains vitamin C and mineral salts. Can be container grown.


Lovely roasted with other vegetables or used in saucy dishes. The whole Aubergine will keep up to 1 week, but it is best not to refrigerate. Can be frozen or dried.


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