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Aubergine Solanum melongena

Also known as the eggplant, aubergines are members of the Solanaceae family, which includes peppers, tomatoes and potatoes. Aubergines are grown not only for their colourful fruits, but also for their pretty foliage and flowers. Needs some protection for reliable cropping in the UK. Start seeds with some warmth and pot on as necessary. Be patient as they can take a long time to germinate. Aubergines need fertile soil, warmth and humid conditions and ideally temperatures over 18°C. The flowers self-pollinate, but if saving seeds grow a single variety, as some crossing may occur between varieties.


Name translates as “land of four rivers”. This is a long, thin, Chinese aubergine, originally collected by Joy Larkcom in Chengdu, Szechuan in 1994. Fruit are 15-25cm long and begin porcelain white; turning purple only when direct sun reaches the skin. They need no salting and are not bitter, ideal for moussaka, ratatouille and as a dip.

Please note: this variety needs a little bit more of a helping hand, so we are not able to send out seeds with gifts, however by adopting it you will be directly contributing to its conservation, so that one day we will be able to make it available to everyone.

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