You would expect the fruits of the eggplant to be egg-shaped. In some cases this is true, but depending on the cultivar, many different shapes and sizes can be found.
Eggplant (also called Aubergine) is the fruit of a plant which is closely related to tomato, potato and chili peppers. Originally a tropical crop, it is now also sometimes grown in (heated) greenhouses in cooler climates.
Basic information and facts
India and Sri Lanka
All tropical and subtropical regions, but main production is in China, India, Egypt and Turkey.
Annual, biennial, or perennial:
Perennial but often grown as an annual.
Flowers have white or purple color.
Eggplant leaves are lobed. Leaves are 10 to 20 cm long and 5 to 10 cm broad. The stems can be spiny and also sometimes leaves have spines.
In wild eggplants the fruit is rather small (size of an egg) but in cultivated plants the fruits can be much bigger with a variety of shapes, from round, to oval to elongated.
Climate and weather:
Eggplant requires a tropical or subtropical climate. It can be grown in temperate areas during the warmer part of the year. It cannot tolerate frost.
Eggplants are usually from 40 to 150 cm tall.
Spacing (close range):
45 cm between plants and 60 cm between rows.
Spacing (wide range):
60 cm between plants and 90 cm between rows. (spacing depends on cultivar)
Propagation: Eggplants are usually grown from seed. Sometimes graffting on disease tolerant rootstock.
A major pest of eggplant is the fruit and shoot borer, a caterpillar that lives inside the stems (causing wilted shoots) or in the fruits.
Verticillium and some other fungal diseases.
Ripe fruits are usually cut from the plant with a knife.
Fruits are cooked, fried, baked, roasted, or used in stews. Raw fruits have a rather bitter taste.