From a distance, the egg tree (Solanum ovigerum) does really look as if it’s bearing chicken eggs. Like its cousin the common eggplant (Solanum melongena), the egg tree plant produces raw fruits. The two”egg” plants are short-lived perennials in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 to 12, and frequently grown as annual garden vegetables.
It’s No Yolk
Though sometimes known as a tree, the branching tropical vegetable plant rarely grows taller than 3 feet. The edible”egg” vegetables — which are berries, botanically speaking — grow 6 to 12 inches long and 3 to 5 inches broad. When young, the fruits are white, or egg-colored. As they ripen, the fruits turn vivid yellow. Grow them as you would common eggplant, in containers or in rich garden beds place in full sun.
An Egg-cellent Meal
Although the common eggplant group does include some white kinds, such as”White Beauty” and”Albino,” egg tree’s fruits are somewhat more markedly egg-shaped. They are also less bitter and boast a creamier texture than ordinary purple eggplants do. You’ll want to pare egg tree’s fruits before cooking them. Otherwise, prepare them as you would purple or white common eggplant — grill, bake, stir-fry or pickle them.