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Fact 1

Wild aubergine Solanum tomentosum

This wild aubergine species is a crop wild relative endemic to South Africa, growing in grassy or rocky areas on hillsides, river beds, coastal bush or roadsides.

Solanum tomentosum has bright orange berries and a fine covering of bristles. In South Africa it grows in grassy or rocky areas on hillsides, river beds, coastal bush or roadsides.

The collection held in the Millennium Seed Bank comes from the Eastern Cape region and was collected by our partners, the South African National Biodiversity Institute in 2005.

Although most Solanum species are found in the Americas, around 20% are Old World species, and it is this group which comprises the origin of the aubergine. This group offers useful traits for breeding with the cultivated aubergine, and many species contain valuable medicinal compounds. Research on the antimicrobial properties of Solanum tomentosum has shown positive results, emphasising its use in traditional medicines.

Fact 1

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