Also known as Pumpkin on a Stick, the ornamental eggplant is a truly fascinating plant.
Not overly exciting at first, it quickly grows into a bushy, tall plant with 4- 5′ solid stems that develop large, prickly leaves (actually, rather spikey – just like a “regular” eggplant).
An abundance of small white and purple flowers appear over the summer that look almost the same as the flowers on a potato plant…and considering these are both plants from the Nightshade family (solanum), it makes sense.
The flowers grow into small ribbed “pumpkins” – these tiny gems (2.5″) start out green in early August and as fall approaches turn a vibrant orange. The stems can be cut and used in fall decorations, or leave the plant where it is for fun colour and plenty of interesting comments until the frost hits.
They are easily started from seed, indoors, about 8-10 weeks before the last expected frost for the area.