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Solanum melongena (egg-shaped fruit)

Family Name: Solanaceae
Common Name: Eggplant, 茄子
Full Sun: 6-8h Moderate Water Bird-Attracting Fruit & Vegetable Annual Woody Herbaceous


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Infraspecific Epithet
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Shrub (Herbaceous)
Lifespan (in Singapore) Annual
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 0.6 m


Native Habitat Terrestrial (Agricultural Land)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Temperate
Local Conservation Status Exotic (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a herbaceous plant that grows usually to 60 cm tall (sometimes up to 1.5m tall) and has an annual life cycle. It is covered in fine grey soft hairs, sometimes spiny. Plants may turn woody with age.
Foliage Leaves are alternate, simple, and ovate to oblong (egg-shaped to elongated), measuring between 3-25cm × 5-15 cm. Densely hairy surface, sinuate-lobed margin (rounded lobes which form consecutive s-shaped patterns). Petiole grows up to 10cm long.
Flowers Flowers are purple, have prominent yellow anthers that form an oval-shaped column in the center. They occur in small clusters and hang down from the stem. Triangular, wrinkled petals are fused together in a star-shaped pattern.
Fruits Fruits are smooth, oval to egg-shaped. It is initially white and later turns golden to orange-yellow (about 7 cm long, 5 cm wide). The fruit hangs down from a long stalk about 3-4 cm long.  
Cultivation Seeds may take 3 to 5 days to germinate. Depending on the varieties, the plant may take 40 – 90 days to mature and produce flowers. Grow it in a sunny location with a support, as the fruit may be heavy for the plant.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : The fruit is consumed as a cooked vegetable and used in various cuisines. They can be fried, steamed, grilled, roasted, or stewed. )

Landscaping Features

Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Thematic Landscaping Economic Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird Attracting (Fruits)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Biotic (Fauna) (Vertebrates (Human), Vertebrates (Other Mammal))

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Pest(s) Sucking Insects
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Velvety / Furry / Tomentose
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Green
Young Flush Texture(s) Velvety / Furry / Tomentose
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Sinuate
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Rounded / Obtuse

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Purple
Flower Texture(s) Wrinkled
Flower Grouping Solitary
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial
Individual Flower Shape Stellate / Star-shaped

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Yellow / Golden
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Smooth
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Fleshy Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Non-Accessory Fruit

Image Repository



Master ID 32133
Species ID 6539
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 22 October 2020.