Solanum melongena
Family: Solanaceae
Common Name: Aubergine

Orginating in Asia, the eggplant or aubergine is grown for its fruit and is widely grown in the UK. It is a popular vegetable in Europe, particu­larly in Mediterranean countries. The French use it as an ingredient in ratatouille, the Greeks use it as the basis of moussaka, and roasted egg-plant can be bought from delicatessens and supermarkets everywhere. This tender annual is related to the potato and tomato, and produces a 30 cm (12 in) long, dark purple fruit. White or striped forms are available. Eggplant can be eaten at several stages of its growth.


Requirements are similar to those for the tomato. In cool and cold climates, egg-plants are best grown in a heated greenhouse, but in warmer climates, plants can be grown outside. They like a temperature of 25-30°C (77°-86°F) and moderate atmospheric humid­ity. They need a fertile soil, or can be grown in pots of soilless potting compost or in growing bags. Sow seeds in spring under glass after soak­ing in warm water for a day, and germinate at 21°C (70°F). Pot seedlings individually into 9 cm (31h in) pots. Plant out young plants when 10 cm (4 in) tall, outdoors only when there is no longer danger of frost. Choose a sunny, shel­tered site. Plant 75 cm (30 in) apart. Under glass, pot young plants into 20-25 cm (8-10 in) pots.


Zone 10, but grown as a summer annual in all climates.

Edgeworthia      Elaeagnus