Aubergine varieties: round, purple & white aubergines


I studied horticultural sciences at university and in my free time you can find me in my own patch of land, growing anything with roots. I am particularly passionate about self-sufficiency and seasonal food.

Favourite fruit: quince, cornelian cherry and blueberries
Favourite vegetables: peas, tomatoes and garlic

There are myriad aubergine varieties, from purple to white, green, striped and even orange fruits. Discover some of the best aubergine varieties for your garden.

Different aubergine varieties
The colour of aubergines can be white, green, yellow or orange as well as purple [Photo: Elena Veselova/]

Aubergines (Solanum melongena), also known as eggplants, are part of the nightshade family (Solanaceae) native to East Asia. The largest number of different aubergine varieties can be found In India, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. In our part of the world, we usually think of this warmth-loving vegetable as an oval to conical, dark purple fruit. Read on to discover some colourful aubergine varieties for growing in the garden and on the balcony.

Aubergine varieties: different colours, sizes and shapes

Aubergines come in all shapes and sizes, from oval and round to oblong or pear-shaped. It is impossible to determine exactly how many aubergine varieties there are, but there are probably several hundred. Before going into the varieties of aubergines, it is worth looking at the subdivision of the main aubergine forms.

  • Solanum melongena var. esculentum: Aubergine variety with long, club-shaped or oval fruits. The aubergines available in our supermarkets come almost exclusively from this variety.
  • Solanum melongena var. serpentinum: Variety of aubergine with long, thin fruits. It is also known as the snake eggplant.
  • Solanum melongena var. depressum: A particularly widespread and popular variety in Asia with very small, round fruits. These are available in well-stocked Asian shops.
  • Solanum aethiopicum: The African aubergine or Ethiopian aubergine, a relative of the classic aubergine, more often produces red and orange, ribbed or teardrop-shaped and other unusually shaped fruits. They usually have a bitter taste, which goes especially well in stews and curries.

Before you plant aubergine seeds, you should decide on the right variety quite early in the year. Aubergines can be planted as early as February onwards so that sufficiently developed plants can be planted from May. Alternatively, you can buy already started young plants at a nursery. Find more tips on planting aubergines in our dedicated article.

Round aubergine variety
The fruits of aubergines can also be round and take on a wide variety of colours

Different types of aubergine

The variety determines the shape and colour of the aubergine. Aubergine varieties also differ in size of the plant, yield and time of ripening. The following aubergine varieties are ideal for the home garden:

  • ‘Applegreen’: Very early, green aubergine up to 70 cm growing height. This variety ripens reliably even in cooler summers and has a very good flavour.
  • ‘Antar F1’: Robust aubergine variety with club-shaped, shiny, almost black fruits and good aroma. The vigorous, early maturing plants can also be grown outdoors.
  • ‘Antigua’: White-purple striped aubergine with large, club-shaped fruits up to 20 cm long. ‘Antigua’ aubergines need a lot of warmth and should therefore be cultivated in a greenhouse or on a protected house wall.
Purple and white striped aubergines
There is a wide variety of different aubergine varieties that differ greatly in appearance [Photo: J.A. Johnson/]
  • ‘Bambino’: Dwarf aubergine with purple skin and low growth to about 30 cm tall. This aubergine variety is ideal for smaller balconies and terraces or for growing in raised beds.
  • ‘Black Beauty’: Heirloom variety with shiny, dark purple, club-shaped fruits. Due to its good yield and fine aroma, the aubergine ‘Black Beauty’ is still a popular choice even after more than 100 years.
  • ‘Casper’: White aubergine with club-shaped, white fruits and very tender and aromatic flesh. As the plants are quite large, be sure to plant them at a sufficient planting distance.
White aubergine plant
White aubergines are a special eye-catcher in the garden [Photo: AJCespedes/]
  • ‘Galine F1’: Purple aubergine with very roundish fruits, deep purple colouring and good taste. The plants of the aubergine ‘Galine F1’ can grow up to 150 cm high.
  • ‘Money Maker F1’: This variety is a modern and especially popular hybrid variety in hobby cultivation, as it requires less heat than other varieties. The aubergine ‘Money Maker F1’ is early-maturing and rich-bearing with long, dark purple fruits.
Black money maker aubergine
The aubergines of the ‘Money Maker’ variety stand out with their dark colouring [Photo: Peter Turner Photography/]
  • ‘Obsidian’: Aubergine variety from China with round, dark purple fruits. The plants reach a growth height of up to 70 cm. The round aubergine ‘Obsidian’ can be harvested early from July.
  • ‘Ophelia F1’: A variety that is particularly suitable for cultivation on the balcony or terrace due to its compact growth. The aubergine ‘Ophelia F1’ bears round-oval, purple fruits with a very good taste, it is very prolific.
  • ‘Ping Tung’: Snake aubergine from Taiwan with very long purple fruits up to 40 cm. The plants grow rather compact up to 70 cm high.
  • ‘Pinstripe F1’: A newer aubergine variety for cultivation in pots, the dwarf aubergine. The very small-fruited variety produces white-purple fruits with excellent aroma.
Pinstripe aubergine plant
The variety ‘Pinstripe’ is not only visually appealing, but also tastes excellent [Photo: Peter Turner Photography/]
  • ‘Rosita’: Extremely attractive, pink aubergine variety with large, club-shaped fruits and large, vigorous plants.
  • ‘Rotonda Bianca Sfumata di Rosa’: Eggplant with large, club-shaped fruits with light purple-white skin. The striped, Italian aubergine ‘Rotonda Bianca Sfumata di Rosa’ is high-yielding and vigorous.
  • ‘Slim Jim’: Low-growing, dwarf aubergine variety with compact growth and numerous, long fruits in clusters that resemble fingers. The small aubergine is particularly suitable for cultivation in pots.
Slim Jim aubergine plant
The finger aubergine ‘Slim Jim’ forms numerous, elongated eggplants [Photo: MarinaGreen/]
  • ‘Striped Toga’: Aubergine with striped, orange fruits when fully ripe. ‘Striped Toga’ aubergines are shaped like sweet peppers. The plant can tolerate colder temperatures compared to some other aubergine varieties. It belongs to the African aubergines, but does not have a bitter taste.
  • ‘Violetta Lunga’: Eggplant with very long, club-shaped fruits that grow up to 30 cm in length. The plants grow up to 150 cm high and bear purple fruits.
  • ‘Zora’: A vigorous aubergine variety with club-shaped, shiny purple fruits and a long-lasting harvest. The purple aubergine ‘Zora’ has a very fine taste.

Tip: In order for whichever aubergine variety you decide upon to produce a rich harvest, you will need to give this highly nutritious vegetable plant plenty of nutrients. A slow-release fertiliser such as our Plantura Tomato Food is excellent for this.

Tomato Food, 1.5kg
Tomato Food, 1.5kg
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  • Perfect for tomatoes, chillies, courgettes, cucumber & more
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Different aubergine varieties start to become ready to harvest around midsummer. Get tips on harvesting and storing aubergines.