Not many people have probably heard of an easter egg plant before. Those who have are usually intrigued by the name. So what is an easter eggplant?
An easter eggplant, also known as an ornamental egg plant, is a type of eggplant. The plant produces egg-shaped fruits that start white but then grow into a pastel color.
While the decorative nature of solanum ovigerum is appealing, what we really want to know is, can you eat easter eggplant?
The Easter Egg eggplant is classified as an ornamental plant, but the eggplants are just as edible as any other. If growing for culinary purposes it is advisable that you harvest the fruits early as overripe eggplants sometimes have a slightly bitter taste.
As with most small eggplants, this variety matures quickly. It blooms in mid-spring with attractive blue to lavender flowers and rapidly produces white eggplants roughly the size and shape of an egg.
As the eggplants mature they turn colors generally a golden yellow, but from time to time also creamy yellow, orange and sometimes a funky green.
It is highly prolific, the more you pick the more it produces.
Easter Egg Eggplant Plant Profile and Growing Guide
The fruits average 3-5″ round, and each plant can produce 20 -30 per season.
- Start seeds indoors 6 – 8 weeks before planting outdoors.
- Maturity at 58- 72 days from transplant.
- Germination from seed 10 – 14 days.
- Color – Assorted
- For seed saving -Unblemished eggplants should be overripe before harvesting the seeds.
All eggplant varieties are highly susceptible to Flea Beetle attack particularly early in the season. Aphids also attack these plants and come later in the season. Varieties of Aphids that attack eggplants are generally either a light blue-green or amber, sometimes black.
The outdoor environment can be very harsh for a transplant. So, harden the transplants before planting outdoors to increase their survival rate. Place them outdoors in their original containers where they will receive direct sunlight and some wind for a few hours each day for a week, possibly more.
Gradually lengthen the amount of time outside each day. Move the plants inside at night.
Can You Eat Easter Eggplant?
While these plants may look pretty, they are technically inedible. However, they are not poisonous, and some people like to eat them.
If you do snack on easter eggplant, make sure you wait for them to ripen. Overripe fruit can turn either orange, yellow, or green and may taste bitter.
Is the Easter Egg Plant a Perennial?
Easter eggplants are a yearly outdoor plant and therefore are not perennial. However, they can live and produce fruits for a few years if brought indoors.
Easter Egg Plant Health Benefits
Easter eggplant, like standard eggplant, is high in potassium and provides vitamin B, magnesium, and copper. It also contains some folates and fiber if you keep the skin on.
The dietary fiber in eggplants can help people feel full longer, keeping them from overeating later.
Eggplants also have a high water content with little fat or cholesterol. They are also low in calories, perfect for those on a low-calorie diet or looking to manage their weight.
Controls Blood Sugar Levels
Fiber is known to help slow the process of sugar absorbing into the system. Insoluble fiber can also lessen the risk of developing Diabetes type 2.
Improves Bone Health
Eggplants can be very beneficial for those who are at high risk of osteoporosis and bone degradation. The vegetable’s phenolic compounds can help make bones more robust and increase mineral density.
Both purple and white eggplants contain antioxidants, which aid in heart health. They may even help prevent chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
As its other nickname, the ornamental eggplant, suggests, these plants are more for decorative purposes than they are for eating. You can eat them, but it’s somewhat of an acquired taste.
If you love learning about unique foods like easter eggplant, check out some of our other blog posts!