The taxonomy of the wild relatives of the brinjal eggplant has long been a source of confusion; although the eggplant (aubergine) is Asian, most of its close relatives are from Africa. The chaotic application of names and the widespread use of a system of “vernacular” names has meant that plant breeders are unable to access wild diversity in a logical and consistent way. As part of a larger monographic and phylogenetic study of the African spiny solanums we worked out the correct names to apply to the wild relatives of eggplants and in this paper provide a system that will be useful for plant breeders and taxonomists alike.
Knapp, S., M.S. Vorontsova & J. Prohens. 2013. Wild relatives of the eggplant (Solanum melongena L.: Solanaceae): new understanding of species names in a complex group. PLoS ONE 8(2): e57039. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057039.