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Solanum spp. (Solanaceae)
Vernacular name: ma kuea
Common name: egg plant (English), nasu (Japanese)

  The fruits of various species of Solanum are consumed as vegetables; these include:
  S. americanum Mill., locally called “Mawaeng-nok”, Black nightshade, common nightshade; small, annual herb, stem up to 90 cm tall, unarmed; Leaves spiral to almost opposite, blade ovate to ovate-lanceolate; Inflorescence an umbellate cyme, supra axillary, 4-8-flowered, flower bisexual, white; fruit a globose berry, 0.5-1 cm in diameter, turning from green to glossy purplish black when ripe; seeds numerous. Young shoots and fruits are added to curry or steamed and eat with chili sauce.
  S. nigrum L., small herb, similar to S. americanum Mill. But with smaller and less shiny, dull fruit. Seed 1.5-2 mm long. It is a common weed in agricultural field or abandoned area, found throughout Thailand. Young shoots are eaten as a vegetable either raw or cooked. The plants are used as an emollient and anti-allergic in itching, burns and neuralgic pains, and are also considered as expectorant and laxative. The leaf juice is used against pain caused by an inflammation in the kidneys and bladder.
  S. stramonifolium Jacq. (synonym: S. ferox L.), locally called “Ma-uk”, herb or small shrub, upto 2 m tall, densely stellately pubescent, unarmed or armed with sharp prickles. Leaves simple, alternate, broadly ovate, shallowly pinnatilobed, 5-40 by 3-40 cm; petiole 5-16 cm long. Inflorescence in the leaf axils, in a cluster of up to 10 flowers; pedicel up to 2 cm long, armed or unarmed with prickles. Calyx broadly campanulate, enveloping the fruit partly or completely, armed or unarmed with prickles. Corolla stellate, white or purple. Fruit globose berry, 2-3 cm in diameter, yellow, densely pubescent with long white stellate hairs, glabrescent. Seed 2-2.5 mm long, pale yellow. A common plant grown in backyard garden. The fruits are used to enhance sour taste and special aroma to chili sauce.
  S. melongena L., eggplant, aubergine, locally called “ma-kheua”, is one of the most grown species of the genus Solanum, small, short-live perennial, up to 120 cm tall, much branched small shrub. Leaves simple, alternate, broadly ovate, shallowly lobed, 5-30 by 3-30 cm; petiole 5-10cm long. Inflorescence in the leaf axils, solitary or in a cluster of few flowers; pedicel up to 2 cm long, armed or unarmed with prickles. Calyx broadly campanulate, enveloping the fruit partly, armed or unarmed with prickles. Corolla stellate, white or purple. Fruit vary in size, shape and color, depressed globose, ellipsoid, or cylindrical; pur white to green or purple.
  S. violaceum Ortega, locally called “Mawaeng-ton”, shrub, armed with prickles, 1-1.5 m tall, densely tomentose. Leaves very variable, broadly ovate in outline, 3-15 by 2-12 cm, margin sinuate to deeply pinnately 2-3-lobed, glaucous green; petiole 1-6 cm long. Inflorescence leaf opposed, up tp 12- flowered. Calyx 5-lobed, campanulate. Corolla 5- lobed, stellate,c. 2.5 cm in diameter, pale to dark blue-purple. Fruit globose, about 1 cm in diameter, ripened orange. Young bitter fruits are eaten fresh with chili sauce.
  S. sanitwongsei Craib., similar to S. violaceum Ortega, but the plant has no prickles. It is eaten the same way as S. violaceum Ortega.
  S. torvum Sw., locally called “Ma-kheu-puang”, similar to S. violaceaum with larger leaves and fruits are slightly larger, ripened black. A spreading or scrambling slender shrub, up to 3 m tall, pubescent with stellate hairs. Prickles scattered on stem, branches and leaves, especially in younger growth, 3-7 mm long, slightly hooked. Leaves simple, alternate, solitary or in pairs, sinuously triangular 7-lobed, acute or obtuse. Inflorescence a compact, branched, 50-100-flowered corymb, flowers hermaphrodite, upper ones may be male. Calyx 5-lobed, 3-4 mm long, persistent. Corolla stellate, 2.5 in diameter, white, lobes 5, lanceolate, 1 cm long. Stamens 5, inserted on corolla throat, anthers alternate 6-7 mm long on very short filament. Ovary globose, pubescent, style 8-10 mm long. Fruit a globular berry, 1-1.5 cm in diameter, yellowish, glabrous, produced in clusters of few to 10. Seeds 300-400 per fruit, flat, 1.5-2 mm long, brown. It is common pantropical weed, along roadsides and in waste places; mostly grown in backyard garden for its young fruits. Large scale planting is not uncommon in Thailand. In 100 g edible portion of young fruits contain: water 89 g, protein 2 g, fat 0.1 g, carbohydrates 7.9 g, Ca 50 mg, P 30 mg, Fe 2 mg, vitamin A 750 IU, vitamin B1 0.08 mg, vitamin C 80 mg. Young fruits are eaten raw or boiled with nam prik or added to various kinds of curry. Its medicinal properties are antitussive, to disperse extravasated blood, to relieve pain.
  S. trilobatum L., locally called “Mawaeng-kruea”, similar to S. violaceaum but with glossy green stems and leaves; straggling shrub, fruits turn red when ripe. Young bitter fruits are eaten fresh with chili sauce.
These solanums are grown from seeds and transplanting the seedlings to permanent site.   Medicinal property: the last four species have been claimed to be anti-diabetic.
  Caution: Most solanums, especially wild forms contained more or less amount of toxic alkaloids. However they have been subjected to continuous selection for free alkaloid cultivars and is grown as vegetables In Thailand.

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