Eggplant (Solanum melongena) is a species of nightshade commonly known in British English as aubergine and also known as melongene, garden egg, or guinea squash. It bears a fruit of the same name (commonly either "eggplant" in American and Australian English or "aubergine" in British English) that is widely used in cooking, most notably as an important ingredient in dishes such as moussaka and ratatouille. As a member of the genus Solanum, it is related to both the tomato and the potato. It was originally domesticated in India and Bangladesh from the wild nightshade, the thorn or bitter apple, S. incanum.
The eggplant is a delicate, tropical perennial often cultivated as a tender or half-hardy annual in temperate climates. The fruit is botanically classified as a berry and contains numerous small, soft seeds which are edible, but have a bitter taste because they contain nicotinoid alkaloids (it is a close relative of tobacco).