By S. Olanrewaju Disu
The 'African Egg Plant" is one of the most glamorous vegetables in Lagos Area Markets. The vegetable does not come to the market in comparatively large quantities like the others, yet the Yoruba speaking people of the cherish it a lot.
The plant is usually cultivated for its leaves, which are a bit bitter, but are much appreciated as a spinach in soups and sauces. The fruits are eaten occassionally but are mainly preserved for purposes of propagation.
Yoruba's in Lagos State call this vegetable "efo igbo" in vernacular. Botanically, it is called 'Solanum macrocarpon, Family Solanaceae". This vegetable is ofthen grown in gardens and orchards. The plant is glabrous i.e smooth, having a surface without hairs or projections. The leaves are a delight to watch both in their natural forms in gardens and market stall, too.
Finally, we should note that the "African Egg Plant" which bears the "Efo Igbo" vegetable is semi woody under shrub with several branches and rising up to 1.5 meters
Photographs A & B Freshly plucked "African Egg Plant" vegetables at the the Agege Market