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Aubergine

Solanum melongena

Eggplant

Japanese White Egg
Long Purple
Rosa Bianca
Listada de Gandia
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Solanum melongena is a branching shrub species that typically grows to around 2m high. It produces a long taproot which extends deep underground, anchoring the plant and enabling it to source water from low down below the soil. Leaves are arranged alternately on stems and foliage is densely hairy and sometimes prickly. Flowers are usually produced individually rather than in clusters, these are star-shaped, with wide, spreading petals. They measure 3-4cm wide and are coloured purple, occasionally white, with prominent, stocky yellow stamens in the centre. Aubergine is a fruit in the tomato family, Solanaceae and much like tomatoes, aubergine is a commonly used vegetable in cooking. It is used heavily in vegetarian cuisine as it has a fairly bland flavour and so can be combined with a multitude of flavours. It is also called eggplant because the fruits look egg-shaped when young. There are many different cultivars, showing a range of size and fruit colours. There is even a white aubergine!

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Summer
Fruiting time
Summer, Autumn

Harvesting

Harvest starts about 3 months after planting. Cut the fruit off the plant, do not twist or pull. Fruits should feel full and heavy.

Propagation

Seed
Best sown in spring and summer. Sow between 6-8 mm deep, germination should occur in 7-14 days.

Special features

Geography

Origin
Southeast Asia.
Natural climate
Warm tropical to temperate.

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam, Sand, Chalk, Compost, Clay
Soil PH preference
Acid, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Edible
Lovely roasted with other vegetables or used in saucy dishes. The whole Aubergine will keep up to 1 week, but it is best not to refrigerate. Can be frozen or dried.

Personality

Family
Solanaceae
Flower colour
Mauve/ lavender to white with yellow centre., White, Purples, Yellow
Scent
None

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