The eggplant is native to India and Pakistan and is in the nightshade family, along with other vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, and tobacco. Eggplant was first cultivated and domesticated about 4,000 years ago. It may surprise you to learn that these original garden eggplants bore small, white, egg-shaped fruits, hence the common name eggplant. Eggplant varieties were first crossbred for different fruit color and shape in China, and the new resulting varieties were instant hits. Breeding new varieties of eggplant gained popularity all over the world. For centuries, deep purple to black varieties were all the rage. Today, however, it is varieties which are pure white, or have white striping or mottling, that are highly coveted. Continue reading for a list of eggplants that are white and tips on growing white eggplants.
Growing White Eggplants
As with any common garden vegetables these days, there are a plethora of eggplant cultivars available in seed or young plants. In my own garden, I always like to grow a classic purple variety alongside other different eggplant varieties. White eggplant cultivars always catch my eye, and I have yet to be disappointed by their flavor, texture, and versatility in dishes. Growing white eggplant is no different than growing any eggplant cultivar. Since eggplant is in the Solanium, or nightshade family, it will be susceptible to the same diseases and pests as tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers. Gardens that have experienced problems with common nightshades diseases, such as blight, should be rotated with crops that are not in the nightshade family or allowed to lie fallow before planting eggplant or other Solaniums. For example, following an outbreak of blight, plant only legumes or cruciferous vegetables in that garden space for three to five years. Legumes or cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage or lettuce, will not host nightshade diseases and will also add nitrogen or potassium to the garden.
Common White Eggplant Varieties
Here are some of the more popular varieties of pure white eggplant, as well as mottled or striped white eggplant cultivars:
- Casper – long, zucchini-shaped fruit with solid white skin
- Clara – long, thin, white fruit
- Japanese White Egg – medium sized, round, pure white fruit
- Cloud Nine – long, slender, pure white fruit
- Lao White – small, round, white fruit
- Little Spooky – long, thin, curved, pure white fruit
- Bianca di Imola – long, medium sized, white fruit
- Bride – white to rose colored long, slender fruit
- Crescent Moon – long, skinny, creamy white fruit
- Gretel – small to medium, round, creamy white fruit
- Ghostbuster – long, slender, white fruit
- Snowy White – medium, oval-shaped white fruits
- Chinese White Sword – long, thin, straight white fruit
- Long White Angel – long, thin, white fruit
- White Beauty – large, oval-shaped white fruit
- Tango – long, straight, thick, white fruit
- Thai White Ribbed – unique flat, white fruit with deep ribbing
- Opal – teardrop-shaped, medium, white fruit
- Panda – round, light green to white fruit
- White Ball – round, white fruit with green hues
- Italian White – white to light green, common eggplant shaped fruit
- Sparrow's Brinjal – small, round, light green to white fruit
- Rotonda Bianca Sfumata di Rosa – medium sized, round white fruit with pink hues
- Apple Green – creamy white to pale green egg-shaped fruits
- Orient Charm – slender, long, white to light pink fruit
- Italian Pink Bicolor – creamy white fruit that matures to a rose pink
- Rosa Blanca – small white circular fruit with purple blush
- Fairytale – small, round, white fruit with violet stripes
- Behold – violet purple, round fruit with white stripes
- Listade De Ganda – egg-shaped purple fruit with wide, irregular white streaks
- Blue Marble – round, grapefruit sized fruit with purple and white mottling
- Easter Egg – miniature ornamental eggplant with hen sized egg-shaped white fruit that matures to yellow, cream, and orange shades
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