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In Stock: Aubergine seeds (pack of 30) - £1.30

Aubergine

(Solanum melongena)

Other Names: Eggplant, Bringal, Melongena, Berenjena, Katharikkaai, Baingan, Qiezi, Ringra

Description:
Aubergine is annual plant that is related to the tomato. The bushes grow 0.75 to 1.5m tall with hairy grey-green leaves 10-20 cm long and 5 to 10 cm wide. The flowers are white to purple, with a five-lobed corolla and yellow stamens. The fruit is a fleshy berry, less than 3 cm in diameter on wild plants, but much larger in cultivated forms. The fruit contains numerous small, soft seeds. Wild types can grow much larger, up to 30 cm long. The fruit varies is size, shape and colour. The most common is the dark purple variety but new varieties include yellow and a variegated green.

Uses:
Aubergine is used extensively in Mediterranean and Indian cuisine. It can be baked, stewed or added to soups and curries.

Health:
Aubergines contain high levels of the compound chlorogenic acid - one of the most powerful antioxidants produced by any plant tissue. It is a good source of vitamin C and potassium.

Climate:
Temperatures should remain above 20C. Full sun is a must.

Soil:
Aubergines are heavy feeders should be planted in heavily composted soil with lots of manure, if available. Side dress frequently, especially when the plant begins to bloom.Aubergine is fairly drought tolerant and should not be overwatered as it is susceptible to root rot. Mulching around the plant will help maintain even moisture. Watering may be increased when blooms appear.

Propagation:
From seeds. Germination takes 8 to 10 days and requires a temperature of 16C 20C.

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