Ongzi, a zeal HORTICULTURIST,yet resides in a plant-free apartment…… thinks that plants deserved to be treated as LIVING THING, not merely as plants …… strongly condemns any form of CRUELTY TO PLANTS, yet enjoys feast on them…… collects only e-HERBARIUM, and proudly encourages others to do the same……
Solanum aethiopicum was domesticated from the wild Solanum anguivi Lam., via the semi-domesticated Solanum distichum Schumach. &
Thonn. Both these ancestral species
occure through tropical Africa, S. anguivi in disturbed vegetation and S. distichum in gardens. S.
aethiopicum is grown throughout tropical Africa and South America and
occasionally southernmost France and Italy and in Southeast Asia.
Solanum aethiopicum is strictly a tropical crop species, and is intolerant of
low cold temperatures and frost or extremely wet conditions. It is intolerant of water-logging and some
tolerance of irrigation-induced salinity.
Members of the Gilo Group grow
best in full sun in woodland savanna on fairly deep and well-drained soils with
pH 5.5-6.8, and day temperatures of 25-35°C and night temperature of 20-27°C.
The Kumba Group tolerates hotter
conditions ( up to 45°C day
temperature ) with air humidity as low as 20%, especially if irrigated.
The Shum Group prefers warm, humid
conditions and will shed its leaves when it gets dry.
Edible Plant Parts and Uses
In the humid tropical zone of West
Africa, S. aethiopicum is mainly
cultivated for its immature fruit ( garden egg ), in the savanna area for its
leaves and immature fruits ( djakattou ), and in East Africa mainly for its
leaves ( nakati ).
In Africa, the immature fruit are
used as cooked vegetable in stews, and sometimes eaten raw. The leaves and shoots are used as a cooked
vegetable. The fruit are sour with a
In Sarawak, the fruit is prepared
in many ways. It is cooked with fish,
made into kerabu, or cooked in coconut milk.
Perennial or annual deciduous
shrub, up to 2m tall, often much branched;
Root system extending both
vertically and laterally;
Branches and leaves with or
without prickles and stellate hairs;
Leaves alternate, simple; stipules
absent; petiole up to 11cm long; blade broadly ovate, 6-30cm x 4-20cm, obtuse
or cordate at base, acute to obtuse at apex, slightly to deeply lobed at
margin, pinnately veined; upper leaves smaller, narrower, less lobed and often
Inflorescence a lateral, racemose
cyme, 5-12 flowered ; penducle often short or even absent;
Flowers bisexual, regular, 4-10
merous ; pedicel 2-15mm long; calyx campanulate, lobes 4-10mm long; corolla
stellate, free not fusd, 6-15mm long, white, sometimes pale purple; stamens
inserted near the bae of the corolla tube and alternate with corolla lobes,
filaments short and thick, anthers connivent, yellow, opening terminal pores;
ovary superior, 2-6-celled, style as long as or slightly longer than stamens,
stigma small, obtuse;
Fruit a globose to oblate, 5-15cm
across, ellipsoid, ovoid or fusiform berry 2-12cm long, smooth to furrowed,
immature green or white turning to red or orange, many seeded;
Seeds lenticular to reniform,
flattened, 2-5mm across, pale brown or yellow.