Meet the ‘Nightshades’: Wealthiest Family of Vegetable World!!!
Scientifically known as ‘Solanaceae’, Nightshades are a well known botanical family of flowering plants. This family is a diverse group of important agricultural crops, medicinal plants, spices, weeds, and ornamentals. Many of the nightshade plants are toxic in nature due to the presence of plant chemicals called Alkaloids.
However, it is the number of commonly cultivated vegetables that make nightshades economically important family. These are some of the most important food species of the world. No kitchen garden is complete without nightshade vegetables.
Following are some of the main nightshade vegetables:
Cherry tomato: This small fruited tomato cultivar is treated as a different vegetable in various cuisines due to its uniqueness in size & taste. Check out the seeds: Cherry Tomato
Capsicum (Bell pepper): The green capsicum cultivar is a popular vegetable in India. It also comes in yellow, red, orange colours. Check out the seeds: Capsicum
Brinjal (Egg plant): Another popular nightshade food. Brinjals are available in a variety of different cultivars having their unique size, shape, colour & taste. Check out the seeds: Black Brinjal (Long), Black Brinjal (Round), Brinjal Banarashi Giant, Brinjal Kateri, Brinjal Muktakeshi Giant, Green Brinjal (Long), Green Brinjal (Round), White Brinjal
All the above nightshade vegetables are fruiting veggies. These are all cultivated by seed sowing. Their seeds are small in size; that’s why they are grown by ‘Transplantation’ method. Nightshade Vegetables are easy to grow in pots and require ample of sunlight.
The following nightshade is an exception to all this:
Potato: This underground tuberous nightshade is used more as a staple food rather than vegetable. Potato can be grown in kitchen garden by planting ‘spouted potatoes’ instead of actual seeds.
Apart from vegetables, many other popular plants belong to the Nightshade family like Tobacco, Datura, Aswagandha, Flowering shrub ‘Ratrani’ & flowering annual Petunia.