You may have heard of Aubergines or Eggplants in different parts of the world, wondering if the two plants are the same. The truth is, they are the same plant but with different names. They look the same and taste the same, and the only difference between them is their native area.
Aubergine vs. Eggplant
Aubergine (Solanum melongena) is a solanaceous fruit native to Asia. It is related to other solanaceous plants, including potatoes, tomatoes, and all nightshade family members. Technically, aubergine is a fruit but is generally treated as a vegetable when used in recipes.
It comes in a few colors but is normally characterized by its deep purple exterior that is both firm and smooth in texture. Aubergine is a French word used primarily in Europe to refer to eggplant.
The report states that the first aubergine brought to America from Europe was primarily white with a shiny, smooth outside. For this reason, it is referred to as eggplant.
Eggplant (Solanum melongena) is a species of the nightshade family, including tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers, and tobacco. Generally, eggplant is a used term for the same purple-colored and pear-shaped, egg-shaped vegetable.
It is commonly used as a vegetable because of its savory flavor, but like tomato, it is a fruit. The flowers range from purple to white, and the fruit has a spiny stem and a meaty texture.
The key difference between aubergine and eggplant is that the word “aubergine” is widely used by people living in European countries. In contrast, eggplant is widely used by people in the United States.
According to research, eggplants are aubergine in Europe because it is the French word for this vegetable. When the Europeans brought the eggplant to the United States, they brought a white version, and the pale egg-shaped vegetables inspired the name “eggplant.”
Since both plants are the same, their growing requirements are similar. Both plants are greenhouse crops but are suitable for small spaces and container growing if you can provide cover such as a plastic tent cloche. Sow seeds in late January through early March in a heated propagator or on a windowsill.
The major considerations when learning how to grow both plants are simple; sunshine snd warmth. For best results, you must maintain moist conditions in the ground and regularly balanced feed. Both plants prefer warm climates and will grow perennially from USDA zones 9 to 11.
They can also be cultivated as annuals in zones 7 to 8. Because they need warm soil, both plants are usually purchased as 6-8 week old transplants to get a head start. Immediately after planting in the ground or pot, set 24-inch-high stakes 1-2 inches from each plant or use cages to provide support and avoid later disturbing the soil or roots.
After planting, water thoroughly and add a layer of mulch to retain moisture and suppress weeds. However, if you live in a cold climate, use row covers to keep the young eggplants warm and sheltered. Ensure you open the ends of the row covers on warm days so that bees may pollinate the eggplants’ flowers.
Note that: Both flowers are susceptible to temperature fluctuations, and temperatures below 55 degrees Celsius and 13 degrees Celsius or above 95 degrees Fahrenheit or 35 degrees Celsius can cause poor fruiting. Ensure you cover plants on cold nights and provide shade on sunny days.
Pests and Diseases
Aubergine and eggplant are favorite hosts of pests such as aphids, flea beetles, colorado potato beetle, hornworms, stink bugs, leaf-footed bugs, and spider mites. Aphids and whiteflies have piercing mouthparts to suck the sap out of eggplant leaves and stems. They are primarily found on the undersides of the leaves.
However, they secrete a sticky waste known as honeydew as they feed. Colorado potato beetle feeds on eggplant foliage with their chewing mouthparts. While hornworms use their chewing mouthparts to feed, leaving behind little more than the large leaf veins.
If you want to cultivate some of the best varieties of eggplant in your garden, keep in mind that these plants come in all shapes and sizes. Some of the recommended varieties include;
1. Black Beauty
This type of variety is the traditional eggplant size, producing 4 to 6 large rounded fruit.
Applegreen is a tender and green fruit that is oval in shape and growing 5-6-inch.
Clara is an Italian hybrid fruit that looks a lot like an egg. The fruits are bright white, oval-shaped, and slightly ribbed, and they are also perfect for greenhouse beds and for container growing.
Pinstripe is a show-stopping eggplant. It is a compact dwarf eggplant that produces a heavy yield of 80-long fruits that can be picked small or left to mature. Other varieties of eggplant include; Turkish Orange, Bambino, Casper, Cloud nine, Kermit, Rosita, Dusky, and Black Bell.