African eggplant (Solanum macrocarpon) is closely related to the eggplant (Solanum melongena).
It is a tropical perennial plant which originates from Africa and is now also cultivated in the Caribbean, South America, and Southeast Asia.
Basic information and facts
Central and West Africa, the Caribbean, South America, and Southeast Asia.
Annual, biennial, or perennial:
It is a perennial plant.
The purple or pale purple flowers are 2 to 3.5 cm long.
The oval and lobed leaves have a wavy margin. Sometimes the leaves have prickles.
The round fruits are partly covered by the calyx lobes. Fruits are almost globular but with the top and bottom flattened out. Fruits are 5 to 7 cm long and 7 to 8 cm wide, with a stalk of 1 to 4 cm. Young fruits are light green, ivory, or have a purple and white color with darker stripes. Ripe fruit turns yellow to yellow-brown.
Climate and weather:
The African eggplant grows about 1 to 1.5 meters tall.
Fruits are used as a vegetable. They have a bitter taste. Also young leaves are sometimes eaten.
Roots, leaves and fruits have some medicinal properties and are locally used for various purposes (laxative, treatment of cardiac diseases, bronchitis, body aches, asthma, healing of wounds, etc.
It is sometimes grown as an ornamental plant.