The aubergine (Solanum melongena) is a plant of the family Solanaceae and genus Solanum. As a nightshade, it is closely related to the tomato and potato.
It is a delicate perennial often cultivated as an annual. It grows 40-150cm (16-57in) tall, with large coarsely lobed leaves that are 10-20cm (4–8in) long and 5-10cm (2–4in) broad. The fruit is fleshy, has a meaty texture, less than 3cm (1.2in) in diameter on wild plants, but much larger in cultivated forms.
The fruit is botanically classified as a berry, and contains numerous small, soft seeds, which are edible, but are bitter because they contain nicotinoid alkaloids, unsurprising as it is a close relative of tobacco.