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Solanum melongena - L.

Common Name Aubergine, Eggplant
Family Solanaceae
USDA hardiness 8-11
Known Hazards All green parts of the plant are poisonous[19].
Habitats Not known in the wild.
Range The origin of this plant is obscure.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Half Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Solanum melongena Aubergine, Eggplant


Solanum melongena Aubergine, Eggplant

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Solanum melongena is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9 and is frost tender. It is in leaf from May to October, in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Leaves
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked[1, 2, 16, 27, 33]. The fruit should not be eaten raw[132]. It can be baked, stewed or added to soups, curries etc[183]. The fruit is said to be very nutritious[7]. It is a good source of vitamin C and potassium[201]. The fruit can be up to 20cm long in cultivated plants[200]. Leaves - mixed with rice bran and salt in which 'Daikon' (a form of radish [Raphanus sativa]) roots have been pickled[183]. Caution is advised, see the notes on toxicity above.

Medicinal Uses

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Anticholesterolemic  Antidote  Astringent  Narcotic  Poultice

The aubergine is used mainly as a food crop, but it does also have various medicinal uses that make it a valuable addition to the diet. In particular the fruit helps to lower blood cholesterol levels and is suitable as part of a diet to help regulate high blood pressure[7, 254]. The fruit is antihaemorrhoidal and hypotensive[7]. It is also used as an antidote to poisonous mushrooms[218]. It is bruised with vinegar and used as a poultice for cracked nipples, abscesses and haemorrhoids[178, 218, 254]. The leaves are narcotic[240]. A decoction is applied to discharging sores and internal haemorrhages[218]. A soothing and emollient poultice for the treatment of burns, abscesses, cold sores and similar conditions can be made from the leaves[254]. Aubergine leaves are toxic and should only be used externally[254]. The ashes of the peduncle are used in the treatment of intestinal haemorrhages, piles and toothache[218]. A decoction of the root is astringent[178, 218].

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

Cultivation details

Requires a very warm, sheltered sunny position, though it succeeds in most soils[1]. Requires plenty of moisture[132], though the soil should be well-drained. Requires a pH in the range 5.5 to 6.8[200]. The aubergine is often cultivated, especially in tropical areas, for its edible fruit, there are many named varieties[183, 200]. The plant is not frost-hardy, though it can be grown as an annual in temperate zones. It can, however, be difficult to ripen the fruit from outdoor grown plants in cooler temperate climates such as Britain. In this country they are more commonly grown in a warm or cool greenhouse or in a frame. A steady temperature of 25 - 30°c is required during the growing season for the best production of flowers and fruit[200]. A short-lived perennial plant, it is usually cultivated as an annual[142, 200]. Plants should be restricted to no more than 4 fruits to make sure they reach a good size and ripen properly[33]. Plants are rarely bothered by pests or diseases[132]. Slugs, snails and caterpillars love this plant[201]. Aubergines grow well with beans, tarragon and thyme[201]. Aromatic plants such as lavender, tansy, marigolds or wormwood help to keep aphids at bay[201]. Grows badly with potatoes, onions and garlic[201].

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Propagation

Seed - sow early spring in a warm greenhouse with a minimum temperature of 15°c[200]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and grow them on fast. If growing them outdoors, plant out after the last expected frosts.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Solanum aethiopicumMock Tomato, Ethiopian nightshadeShrub2.5 10-12  LMHNM202
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Solanum andigenumAndigenaPerennial0.0 -  LMHNM20 
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Solanum boyacense Perennial0.0 -  LMHNM10 
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Solanum fendleriWild Potato, Fendler's horsenettle, Texan horsenettlePerennial0.0 0-0  LMHNM32 
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Solanum kurzii Perennial0.0 -  LMHSNM10 
Solanum laciniatumKangaroo AppleShrub3.0 8-11  LMHNM22 
Solanum linearifoliumMountain Kangaroo AppleShrub0.0 -  LMHNM20 
Solanum liximitante Perennial0.0 -  LMHSNM10 
Solanum luteum Annual0.0 -  LMHSNM10 
Solanum lycopersicumTomato, Garden TomatoAnnual2.0 10-12 FLMHNM533
Solanum lyratum Perennial Climber2.0 -  LMHNM12 
Solanum maglia Perennial0.0 -  LMHNM20 
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Solanum nigrumBlack Nightshade, Common Nightshade, Poisonberry, Black NightshadeAnnual0.6 0-0  LMHNDM220
Solanum paniculatumJurubeba, NightshadeShrub2.0 10-12 FLMHSNM040
Solanum phurejaPhureja, NightshadePerennial0.0 8-11  LMHSNM30 
Solanum piliferum Perennial0.0 -  LMHNM20 
Solanum pimpinellifoliumCurrant TomatoAnnual/Biennial1.0 10-12 FLMHNM422
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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

   Fri May 13 05:17:07 2005

Please add "Patlican" to the list of other common names. Thanks

gloria casola   Fri Jun 10 02:10:24 2005

how do you tell a female from a male eggplant?

Zorro   Mon Jun 5 2006

The Eggplant is the most Blessed Fruit or Vegetable in all the land.

Helen B   Tue Jun 13 2006

Does it need to be cross pollenated or would one plant bear fruit if it were not near another? I have given my neigbhour one of my plants and now wonder if it will bear fruit or if it needs a companion to fertilise it?

ervin malones   Sun Oct 8 2006

is there a antibactrial property does eggplant possess?

aubergine   Mon Aug 11 2008

"Brinjal" is another commonly used name

anj tabs   Sat Jan 26 2008

what are the components of eggplants skin?

Iheaturu Donald Ezechukwu   Sun Mar 2 2008

thats good. i'm a project student. I luv ur idea/contribution

Hakimi Mahalil   Sun Mar 15 2009

Quantum Timur Enterprise Eggplant Planter in Malaysia

Calender-Buisness   Wed Apr 29 2009

do the lyrics "aubergine dreams" have any specific meaning, or make sense in any way?

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