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name for Solanum melongena, a large-leaved woody perennial shrub (often grown as an annual herb) of the family Solanaceae (nightshadenightshade,
common name for the Solanaceae, a family of herbs, shrubs, and a few trees of warm regions, chiefly tropical America. Many are climbing or creeping types, and rank-smelling foliage is typical of many species.
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 family), and also cultivated for its ovoid fruit. Native to SE Asia, the eggplant is raised in tropical and (as an annual) in warm climates as a garden vegetable and is a staple in parts of the Middle East. The fruit (a berry, like its relative the tomato) varies in size and may be black, purple, white, or striped. Eggplants are classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Polemoniales, family Solanaceae.



(Solanum melongena), a perennial plant of the Solanaceae family. It has a firm stem of up to 100 cm high and more; large leaves with violet inclusions when young; and violet flowers that are either solitary or gathered in racemes. The fruit is a globular, pear-shaped, or cylindrical berry, yellow with brown stripes, white, green, or violet; it weighs from 0.4 to 1 kg. Eggplants like heat and moisture. The best temperature for their growth and development is 20–30° C, and the optimum soil moisture is 80 percent of the full moisture capacity. The plant in the wild form is found in such Southeast Asian countries as India and Burma. It is cultivated in the tropical and subtropical belts. In the USSR, eggplants are grown in open ground primarily in the south: in the Trans-caucasian republics, the south of the RSFSR and Ukrainian SSR, the Moldavian SSR, and Middle Asia. The fruits are harvested when ripe for industrial purposes. They contain dry substances, 7.1–11 percent; sugar, 2.72–4 percent; proteins, 0.6–1.4 percent; fats, 0.1–0.4 percent; and also salts of calcium, phosphorus, and iron, among others. Eggplants are a valuable vegetable for the canning industry (eggplant paste, sauteed eggplant, and other products); the fruits are fried, stewed, marinated, and prepared in other ways.

The yield of eggplant is 15–30 tons per hectare. The most widely distributed varieties include Delikates 163, Donskoi 14, Dlinnyi Fioletovyi 239, Simferopol’skii 105, and Kon-servnyi 10. In countries with subtropical and temperate climates, eggplants are grown as an annual plant by the seedling method. The seeds are planted in hotbeds or greenhouses 45–60 days before transplanting. In the ground the distance between plants within a row is 35–40 cm and the distance between rows is 70 cm. Maintenance consists of hoeing the soil, weeding, watering, feeding, and combating diseases and pests. When grown for seeds, eggplants are cultivated in the same manner as when grown for food uses. Before harvest the seed-bearing plants are carefully selected and the sick plants removed. The seed yield is 0.5–1.5 centners per hectare. Pests that attack eggplants include tarnished plant bug and mole crickets. The diseases include dry rot, phytophthora, and wilting.


Gazenbush, V. L. “Baklazhany.” In Sorta ovoshchnykh kul’tur SSSR. Edited by D. D. Brezhnev. Moscow-Leningrad, 1960.



Solanum melongena. A plant of the order Polemoniales grown for its edible egg-shaped, fleshy fruit.


1. a tropical Old World solanaceous plant, Solanum melongena, widely cultivated for its egg-shaped typically dark purple fruit
2. the fruit of this plant, which is cooked and eaten as a vegetable