Eggplant, Solanum melongena, is a tropical, herbaceous, perennial plant, closely related to tomato, in the family Solanaceae which is grown for its edible fruit. The plants has a branching stem and simple, long, flat. coarsely lobed leaves which are green in color and are arranged alternately on the branches. The leaves can measure 10 to 20 cm (4–8 in) long and 5 to 10 cm (2–4 in) broad. The plant produces purple flowers which are 3–5 cm (1.2–2.0 in) in diameter. The fruit is a large, fleshy ovoid berry which can reach 40 cm (15.7 in) in length, with glossy smooth skin and numerous small seeds. The color of the fruit is variable and can be white, green, yellow, purple or black. Eggplants can reach up to 1.5 m (4.9 ft) in height and although they are perennial plants, they are most commonly grown as annuals. Eggplant may also be referred to as aubergine or guinea squash and originates from the Indian subcontinent.