Solanum melongena L.

Last updated: 10 August 2015

Scientific Name

Solanum melongena L.


Solanum esculentum Dunal, Solanum insanum L., Solanum melongena var. depressum L., Solanum melongena var. esculentum (Dunal) Nees, Solanum melongena var. serpentinum L. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Terong [2], terung manis, terung China, terung ungu, terung rapuh, terung putih, terung biru, terung hijau [3]
English Eggplant, aubergine, mel­ongene, brinjal [2]
India Adavi vankaya, brhati, gulla, badane, karimulli, karimullikkattatiri, mullankattari, mullikkattiri, mullinkattiri, mullukkattari, mutkattiri, piturkkattari, upacamayakkattari, upacamayam, vallatimuli, valoothala, valutalaiccetti, valutina, vanga, vangi, vanikkacikam, vankayi, verri vanga [4]
Indonesia Terong, encung, tiung [2], chung (Sumatran); terong, chokrom (Sundanese); enchung, terong (Javanese); tionh (Semang) [3]
Thailand Makhua-yao, makhua-chan, makhua-khao [2]
Laos Khüa poom, khüa hlèèz, khüa ham maaz [2]
Philippines Talong (Tagalog); tarong (Ilocano); bringhinas (Bisaya) [2]
Cambodia Trâb vèèng, trâb put lonhoong [2]
Vietnam C[af] t[is]m, c[af] b[as]t [2]
France Aubergine, melongene, bringelle [2].

Geographical Distributions

Solanum melongena is an egg­plant most probably originated in the Indo-Bur­mese region, where it is an ancient crop and oc­curs with great variability; secondary centers of diversity are China and possibly Africa. Now it has spread throughout the tropics, subtropics and the warm temperate regions; in temperate cli­mates, it is also grown in greenhouses. [2]

Botanical Description

S. melongena is a member of the family Solanaceae. It is an erect, branching, very polymor­phous and perennial herb that can reach up to 1.5 m tall. It is grown as an annual, and with strong and deeply penetrating tap­root. All parts are covered with a grey tomentum where sometimes plants are somewhat spiny while the older plants may become woody. [2]

The leaves are arranged alternate and sim­ple. The petiole is up to 10 cm long. The leaf blade is ovate to ovate-oblong, measuring 3-25 cm x 5-15 cm, densely stellate hairy, rounded or cordate at base, often unequal, with sinuately lobed margin, and acute or obtuse at apex. [2]

The flowers are solitary or in 2-5-flowered cymes, her­maphrodite or male (andromonoecy), opposite the leaves and measure 3-5 cm in diametre. The pedicel is 1-3 cm long while in fruit is up to 7 cm. The sepal is tubular-bell-shaped, measures about 2 cm long, 5-7-lobed, spiny, woolly, persistent and enlarges in fruit where it often splits. The petal unites, deeply 5-6-lobed and stellately spreading, purplish-violet and with hairy lobes beneath. There are 5-6 stamens about 1 cm long. The anthers open by two terminal pores. The ovary is 2-locular, with simple style and headed stigma. [2]

The fruit is a large pendent berry, ovoid, oblongoid, obovoid or nearly spherical to spherical, measures up to 40 cm long and 20 cm in diametre but very variable, smooth, shiny, white, green, yellow, pur­ple, black or mixed coloured. [2]

The seeds are numerous, small and light-brown. [2]


Optimum day temperatures for S. melongena range between 25-35°C, night temperatures between 20-27°C. S. melongena is more susceptible to low temperatures than tomato and capsicum pep­per and it does not tolerate frost. S. melongena is tol­erant of drought and excessive rainfall, but in gen­eral fruit set and production decrease under ad­verse conditions. As far as is known, it is daylength-neutral. It does best in well-drained, sandy loam. The most satisfactory environmental condi­tions are normally found in lowland areas with relatively little temperature variation. When grown at altitudes above 800 m, growth is retarded and yield reduced. [2]

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of S. melongena [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Solanum melongena L. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Apr 18; 2015 Aug 18]. Available from:
  2. Solanum melongena L. In: Siemonsma JS, Piluek K, editors. Plant resources of South-East Asia No 8: Vegetables. Wagenigen, Netherlands: Pudoc; 1994.
  3. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research. Compendium of medicinal plants used in Malaysia. Volume 2. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR; 2002. p. 348.
  4. Quattrocchi U. CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume V R-Z. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2012. p. 321.