Brinjal or eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) is an important solanaceous crop of sub-tropics and tropics. The name brinjal is popular in Indian subcontinents and is derived from Arabic and Sanskrit whereas the name eggplant has been derived from the shape of the fruit of some varieties, which are white and resemble in shape to chicken eggs. It is also called aubergine (French word) in Europe.
The brinjal is of much importance in the warm areas of Far East, being grown extensively in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, China and Philippines. It is also popular in Egypt, France, Italy and United States. In India, it is one of the most common, popular and principal vegetable crops grown throughout the country except higher altitudes. It is a versatile crop adapted to different agro-climatic regions and can be grown throughout the year. It is a perennial but grown commercially as an annual crop. A number of cultivars are grown in India, consumer preference being dependent upon fruit color, size and shape.
The varieties of S. melongena L. display a wide range of fruit shapes and colours, ranging from oval or egg-shaped to long club-shaped; and from white, yellow, green through degrees of purple pigmentation to almost black. Most of the commercially important varieties have been selected from the long established types of the tropical India and China.