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Eggplant

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Eggplant
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Scientific Classification
Binomial Name

Solanum melongena

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Image Description

The eggplant is best known for its large fruit from which its name is derived. Some 18th century European cultivars were yellow or white and resembled goose or hen's eggs. It is known by the scientific name Solanum melongena and is a member of the deadly nightshade Family (Solanaceae), along with the potato, pepper and tomato.

Contents

History

The eggplant is the only member of the nightshade family to have originated in the Eastern Hemisphere. Its use in agriculture was hindered due to its association with the deadly nightshades. It was, in fact, thought to cause insanity by superstitious Europeans, much as the tomato (also a nightshade) was once considered poisonous.[1]. In the 1550's purple and yellow varieties of eggplant were introduced to Germany from Naples, Italy. In the 1600's white Eggplants, along with those with brown different kinds of fruit, pear shaped, long and oblong, thin fruit and round were also found in Germany[2].

Anatomy

Leaves and flowers of the Eggplant.

The eggplant fruit is a large, gord-shaped berry, it varies in color. It can be an assortment of color, like: dark purple, red, white and even yellow. The leaves of the plant are very large, oval shaped and covered in tiny spiny hairs. The leaves can also grow to be as big as the plant itself. The flowers that bud from the eggplant are violet and white. They are two inches in length and width. The stem of the plant is lined with tiny brush hairs[3]. The eggplant can grow to be two to four feet in width. The eggplant comes in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors, which makes them an outstanding, artistic plant. [4].

Reproduction

The reproductive and the vegetative growth of the eggplant can be changed without causing hurt to the plants while in the process of supplying ammonium nitrogen to the plant[5].

Ecology

The eggplant is mostly found to be located in temperate and tropical regions. In order to survive, this fruit needs to be grown in a warm climate area[6]. The eggplant is usually grown in the southern and eastern parts of Asia and America to where it is native. California, Louisiana, Florida, New jersey and Virginia are some of the harvesters in the United States. The eggplants are grown in these states and dispersed throughout the United States[7].

Other

It has been discovered that eating eggplant decrease the average human's serum cholesterol. In Northern Africa the eggplants grown were shaped like chicken's eggs. The plants grew in many different colors and weren't used for eating. They were used as decorations and ornaments. In Australia they are referred to as "eggfruits", in the West Indies it is referred to as the "brown jelly",in West Africa it is called the "garden egg", in Europe eggplants are called "aubergines". [8]

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References

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