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SOLANUM aethiopicum 'Striped Toga'

Image of Solanum aethiopicum 'Striped Toga'

Family

Solanaceae

Botanical Name

SOLANUM aethiopicum 'Striped Toga'

Plant Common Name

African Eggplant, Scarlet Eggplant, Striped Togo Scarlet Eggplant

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

A curious alternative to growing tomatoes and eggplants in the edible garden, 'Striped Togo' bears golden orange fruits with green stripes. This tender perennial species is native to tropical, sub-Saharan Africa and is commonly called the scarlet or African eggplant.

Scarlet eggplant is a herbaceous, semi-woody subshrub, but it may be grown as a perennial or annual crop. Its large pointy leaves with short pointed side lobes look like those of an eggplant or oak. The leaf blades may or may not have spines, and are a medium to light green with bluish cast. The bushy plant becomes open in habit with many branches. It doesn't require staking. The lavender, five-petaled flowers occur during warm weather. Small, 3-inch-long (8 cm), narrowly oval fruits form after insect pollination. On 'Striped Togo', they are at first green and transition to yellow, then gold and finally some shade of ripe orange. They display thin streaks of deep green.

Grow Striped Togo scarlet eggplant in full sun in a fertile, moist but well-drained soil. Frost, soggy soil and excessive drought kill the plants. Grow this species in like manner as you would tomatoes or eggplants, starting seeds indoors six to eight weeks before the last spring frost date. After transplanting seedlings into the garden, expect to harvest fruits 70 to 85 days later. In tropical, frost-free regions, scarlet eggplant often fruits better in the warm dry season, as oppressive humidity and copious rains can undermine plant vigor and health.

Use 'Striped Togo' as a curious but pretty addition to a flower bed or vegetable garden. Cut fruit-filled branches for autumn vase bouquets. The fruits are edible but with a strong, non-bitter flavor that not all people will appreciate. They may be best if pickled.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    3'-6' / 0.9m - 1.8m

  • Width

    3'-5' / 0.9m - 1.5m

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Middle Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Lavender

  • Fruit Color

    Yellow, Green, Orange, Gold

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Blue Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Cutflower, Edible, Feature Plant, Herb / Vegetable, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes