One thought on “What are these tiny eggplants?”

  1. small black berries

    small black berries Hi Diggy, Thanks for writing. That looks like black nightshade, Solanum americanum or Solanum nigrum or one of the similar nightshade species. They are closely related (in the same genus) to eggplants, tomatoes and potatoes. eggplantYou can see that the berries from Diggy’s photo look a bit like tiny eggplants. In fact, the eggplant (also called aubergine) that is eaten all over the world is a domesticated form of other nightshade species native to Africa and Asia. The leaves, vines and green berries of black nightshade can be poisonous, but as with eggplant, the ripe fruit of black nightshade is edible, and many people say the berries are delicious.

    Don’t eat the berries if you aren’t sure what plant you have, however, or you ever have a bad reaction to eggplant or tomato. Belladona or “deadly nightshade” is also in the same plant family, and also has black berries, which are quite poisonous, so be careful. Tom

    Sources: Weese1,Terri L., and Bohs, Lynn. 2010. Eggplant origins: Out of Africa, into the Orient. TAXON 59 (1) • February 2010: 49–56.

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