Food Plants International - Plant Fact Sheets Solanum melongena - Eggplant
Edible portion: Fruit, Leaves, Vegetable
A perennial shrubby herb up to 1 m tall. It is often grown as an annual. It has a deep taproot and branched side roots. The stem is thick and covered with many woolly hairs. The plant has many branches. Often the plant is spiny. The leaves are large, alternate and simple. They are angular and unequal near the stalk. Leaves can be 20 cm long and wavy along the edge. Leaves are covered with hairs. Flowers are bluish red and 5 cm across. They are either solitary or in small groups opposite the leaves. They have 5 large woolly lobes which continue to surround the base of the fruit. Fruit are white, blue, green or purple. The fruit colour and shape vary. Sometimes the fruit is spiny. Often the fruit are 10 to 20 cm long and 5-8 cm wide. Numerous kidney shaped seeds are in the flesh of the berry. There are many cultivated varieties.