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General description and special characteristics – A semi-perennial shrubby plant that is sometimes grown as an annual.  The cooked fruits provide a useful vegetable in the tropics. The size and shape of the fruit varies with the variety, including round, oval, and long. Color also varies between white, yellow, green, and purple. 

Varieties - 

  • Bitter (พันธุ้ท้องถิ่นพม่า): Burmese variety. Color is green and red, with bumpy outside. Flavor is bitter and often eaten with chilli paste.
  • Naga (พันธุ์สีเขียว): Perennial, producing many big fruit all-year round. Plant in cold season. Fruit is edible when young.
  • Tung Kwang Tong (พันธุ์ท้องถิ่นทุ่งกวางทองสีม่วง): Deep purple in color and fleshy meat; 20 cm long and 28 cm round. 
  • Yellow (พันธุ์สีเหลือง):  Very productive in hot, humid weather. Fruit turns yellow when mature.  Edible when young and green (firm and less bitter) and when mature and yellow (softer and slightly more bitter).
  • Crispy Purple (พันธุ์ท้องถิ่นสีม่วง): Small local eggplant light purple in color. Often used for eating with chilli paste. 
  • Mae Tha (พันธุ์ท้องถิ่นสีเขียว): Fruit is 2-3 cm in diameter, white and crispy. Eaten raw as vegetable, in salads or in spices like nam phrik.
  • Small Eggplant (มะเขือดาว): Smaller in size, fruit is white. A strong variety and prolific producer. Crunchy texture. In Thailand it is often eaten raw with chilli paste