Eggplant, Solanum melongena, is a tropical, herbaceous, perennial plant, closely related to tomato, in the family Solanaceae which is grown for its edible fruit.
The plants has a branching stem and simple, long, flat. coarsely lobed leaves which are green in color and are arranged alternately on the branches. The leaves can measure 10 to 20 cm (4–8 in) long and 5 to 10 cm (2–4 in) broad. The plant produces purple flowers which are 3–5 cm (1.2–2.0 in) in diameter. The fruit is a large, fleshy ovoid berry which can reach 40 cm (15.7 in) in length, with glossy smooth skin and numerous small seeds.
The color of the fruit is variable and can be white, green, yellow, purple or black. Eggplants can reach up to 1.5 m (4.9 ft) in height and although they are perennial plants, they are most commonly grown as annuals.
Eggplants are warm-season crops which require a long growing season. They grow best in regions where the daytime temperature is between 26 and 32°C (80–90°F) and night time temperatures around 21°C (70°F). In addition, eggplant is a sun loving plant and should be positioned in an area that receives full sunlight.
Eggplant should be provided with a steady water supply for optimum development of fruit and the soil around the plants should not be allowed to dry out but should also not be wet.