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The cultivation of aubergines has been recorded in Chinese literature as far back as 96 BC


Sandy Knapp, one of our Museum botanists, is travelling to China in February. She’ll be studying the origins and domestication of aubergines with a colleague from the Institute of Botany in Beijing.


Aubergines are native to southeast Asia, but were brought to Europe sometime in the 1500s, eventually becoming popular and being exported around the world. You can find out more about this regularly used cooking ingredient on Sandy’s recent Solanum melongena (aubergine) Species of the Day page.


Sandy will be keeping us up to date with her trip preparations, progress and experiences on her new blog Investigating aubergines in China, so check it out to stay posted.