How to Identify an Eggplant Leaf


As far as vegetables go, eggplants are very easy to identify. They have a unique shape and color that makes them stand out in the produce aisle. However, the leaves of this plant are not quite as remarkable. Their unexceptional green coloring and conventionally smooth texture prevents many casual observers from distinguishing an eggplant leaf from any other leaf in a garden. But upon closer examination, you will find that eggplant leaves really do have some very distinctive characteristics.

Step 1

Evaluate the shape of the leaf. The Department of Horticulture at Iowa State University asserts that eggplant leaves should be in the shape of a triangle. However, the triangle will have rounded edges, rather than three sharp points.

Step 2

Put on your gardening gloves and check the underside of the leaf. According to Dan Drost of Utah State University, you should find prickly thorns if it is indeed an eggplant leaf.

Step 3

Search the leaves for the presence of beetles and spider mites. A list compiled by the National Science Foundation Center for Integrated Pest Management shows that eggplant leaves are the preferred food of many different types of insects. Unless the plant has been treated with pesticides, you are likely to find a few bugs feeding and holes where other bugs have already eaten.

Step 4

Use the tape measure to determine the length and width of the leaves. According to John Weaver and William Bruner, the authors of "Root Development of Vegetable Crops," an eggplant leaf on a mature plant can be quite sizable at 8 inches long and 5 inches wide.

Tips and Warnings

  • According to Rebekah Denn of the the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, eggplants are part of Solanum genus. One characteristic of this genus is poisonous leaves, and eggplants leaves are toxic when ingested by humans and animals.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening gloves
  • Tape measure


  • Iowa State University, Department of Horticulture: Vegetable Seedling Identification
  • Utah State University: Eggplant in the Garden
  • National Science Foundation Center for Integrated Pest Management: Pests of Eggplant

Who Can Help

  • "Root Development of Vegetable Crops": Chapter XXVII - Eggplant
  • Growing Guide - Eggplant
  • Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Ask The Critic: Nothing shady about celery leaves
Keywords: eggplant leaf, identifying leaves, aubergine leaf

About this Author

Samantha Herman earned an undergraduate degree in journalism from Northern Arizona University in 2005. Her professional writing career started in 2008, when she accepted an internship at "Willamette Week," a local alternative publication. Upon completing her internship, she became employed as a copywriter for an internet media company. In addition to copywriting, she has written articles for PDX Pipeline and eHow.