40. Solanum melongena Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 186. 1753.
Solanum esculentum Dunal; S. melongena var. esculentum (Dunal) Nees; S. melongena var. serpentinum Linnaeus; S. melongena var. depressum Linnaeus.
Herbs or subshrubs to 60 cm tall, sparingly armed, pubescent with stellate hairs. Stems and branches minutely tomentose, sometimes with stout recurved prickles. Petiole 2-4.5 cm; leaf blade ovate to oblong-ovate, 6-18 × 5-11 cm, stellate-tomentose or sometimes with a few fine prickles on both surfaces, denser abaxially, base oblique, margin sinuate-lobed, apex obtuse. Inflorescences mostly solitary flowers, rarely reduced racemes; peduncle obsolete. Flowers andromonoecious. Pedicel 1-1.8 cm. Calyx stellate tomentose, often with ca. 3 mm prickles abaxially; lobes lanceolate. Corolla purplish or violet, rotate, 3(-5) cm; lobes deltate, ca. 1 cm. Filaments ca. 2.5 mm; anthers ca. 7.5 mm. Style 4-7 mm. Berry black, purple, pink, brown, or yellow, yellowish when completely mature, greatly variable in form and size, mostly more than 6 cm in diam., with a thick, spongy, whitish mesocarp and septal region. Seeds lenticular, yellowish, 2.8-3.9 × 2.5-3.5 mm.
Widely cultivated in China and other countries