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Solanum macrocarpon L.

Family Name: Solanaceae
Synonyms:
Common Name: African Eggplant
Full Sun: 6-8h Moderate Water Fruit & Vegetable Herbaceous

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Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 1.5

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Perennial herb up to 1.5 m tall.
Foliage Lance-shaped to oblong leaves (10-30 cm long, 4-15 cm wide) are pinnately lobed or have an entire, undulate leaf margin.
Stems Stem is purplish black and lacks spines.
Flowers Bell-shaped flowers with fused petals (5 cm wide) are light purple with purple veins.
Fruits The deep orange, smooth fruit is round and depressed (5-6 cm tall, 7-8 cm wide). The flesh is firm like a persimmon, but smells like a tomato. The flesh is moist, but not juicy except around the seeds. Immature fruits are green or white.
Similar Some cultivars of Solanum macrocarpon may resemble certain cultivars of Solanum aethiopicum, but S. macrocarpon petals are fused together while S. aethiopicum petals are free.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : The sour immature fruit is often cooked in soups or sauces, but is also sometimes eaten raw in salads. In Africa, the fruits, shoots and leaves are all eaten. In Sarawak, it is popular to cook the fruit with fish or coconut milk.)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water

Foliar

Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Pinnately Lobed / Pinnatifid, Entire - Wavy / Undulate
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Typical Foliar Size From 10
Typical Foliar Size To 30
Typical Foliar Size Unit cm

Fruit, Seed & Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Orange
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Smooth
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Fleshy Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Non-Accessory Fruit
Mature Seed Colour(s) Cream / Off-White
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Numerous (>20)

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Master ID 32795
Species ID 7208
Species record last updated on: 14 October 2019.
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