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1. a. An Indian plant (Solanum melongena var. esculenta) cultivated for its large edible, ovoid, glossy, usually purple-skinned fruit. b. The fruit of this plant. Also called aubergine, melongene.
2. Color. A blackish purple.
Eggplant, common name for an East Indian herb of the nightshade family, and for the fruit it bears. Varieties include the common eggplant, the dwarf eggplant, and the snake eggplant, which has long, slender, curved fruits. The common variety bears from two to five purple, white, or yellowish fruits that vary in diameter from 5 to 20 cm (2 to 8 in) and resemble an egg in shape. Eggplants are cultivated for their edible grayish pulp.
Although the eggplant is a perennial, it is widely grown in temperate climates as an annual. The plants grow slowly, and they are damaged by temperatures below 10° C (50° F).
Scientific classification: Eggplants belong to the family Solanaceae. The East Indian herb is classified as Solanum melongena, the common eggplant as Solanum melongena variety esculentum, the dwarf eggplant as Solanum melongena variety depressum, and the snake eggplant as Solanum melongena variety serpentium.
Eggplant is introduced into
England. The variety is small, light brown in color, and eggshaped.