ECHOcommunity Conversations

How you seen me? What I am called?

Greetings ECHO network!

The ECHO Asia Seed Bank has been growing this NUS (Neglected & Underutilized Species) vegetable for a couple years now… but we are not confident about what it is called!

For the time being we have been calling it Solanum benth/Edible Leaf Solanum.

This plant is a cousin of the eggplant but lacks thorns and does not have the hairy leaves of most eggplant varieties. Leaves are soft and can be consumed when green to mature. Fruit is also edible, though both leaves and fruit are generally cooked before eating. This plant is native to south Thailand (Songkhla). We have also seen it called potato tree or Brazilian tree but don’t think that is correct.

If you have any further information or know someone who might know more, let us know! Thanks! Here are some pictures:


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you might try richters seeds in Ontario canada - they have people around the world sending them seeds, plants, etc. failing that there is always Kew. there is also a group - a woman- i think in New Zealand who specializes in under utilized food plants. I will try to find her name and contact info. Karalyn Higson She puts out a newsletter as well. A great person to link up with. I will forward your info to her as well.

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I live in Songkhla Province, Thailand! I’ll share the photos and description with a couple of local groups :slight_smile:

I posted to a local FB group and someone responded with this name มะเขือกินใบ, which of course is exactly what you guys’ve been calling it :slight_smile:

If you can’t open this page, please let me know. It’s all in Thai.

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You can also try inaturalist, plantnet or some other android app that specializes in plant recognition…

Maybe this one:

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By the way, that website is absolutely fabulous when looking for information about tropical plants…

Thanks @Martin_Tlustos and @DJ1 . The link you found, Martin, gave the clearest assurance, I believe. I put a couple of other references in a startup collection for African Eggplant. Very interesting. Googling ‘มะเขือกินใบ images’ provides a good set of images.

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Thank you for your email, we are looking into.

I note no thorns. Are there smaller prickles?

And what colour is the fruit? Does it stay the colour you show in the photograph?

Do you know where else it grows?

This is from Karalyn Hingston
Executive Officer

Food Plant Solutions
PO Box 690

Email -
Website -

They do alot of community based work. Green leaf veggies to fight anemia!

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Thank you @Kate_Daley @troysantos @Martin_Tlustos @ssnyder for your comments and research! I have forwarded these comments and questions to the ECHO Asia Seed Bank staff and will reply back soon. Very interesting!

In the meantime, here are a couple other images I have of this plant: