Eggplant Sex


Girl eggplants? Boy eggplants? Does one taste better than the other? And what does all this have to do with plant sex?

In researching  my recent post on eggplant, I discovered a bunch of discussion about “male” vs. “female” eggplants. We’re talking about the fruit—the eggplants that we eat—not the individual plants on which the eggplants grew.

From a botanical point of view, this whole debate is nonsense. Let me explain:


My Favorite Eggplants

eggplant_dbg-co_lah_9256Eggplant Parmigiana, Moussaka, Moroccan Eggplant Salad, Baba Ganoush… there are plenty of delicious ways to eat eggplant. Growing it in Colorado is a whole different story. A native of warm and humid southeast Asia, it takes a bit of persuasion to convince this tomato family member to thrive in our cool, dry climate.

As Colorado gardeners, we have all sorts of tricks to modify the microclimate around our plants and extend a too-short growing season. Cloches, cold frames, copious use of plastic and accessories such as Wall ‘ O Water are all helpful. However, choosing the right varieties can mean the difference between crop failure and Ratatouille. (For more on how to grow eggplant, see the CSU Fact Sheet on “Peppers and Eggplants.”)