Eggplant : Ichiban (Plant)
One of the first to mature; grows long, slender, midnight purple fruit. Upright, thornless plants are highly productive. These tender eggplants can be stir-fried, grilled, baked or fried. Prime when picked at 6-8 inches long.Solanaceae Solanum melongena
The plants are generally self-pollinated, but some cross pollination by insects also occurs. To keep a variety pure only one variety should be grown at one time, or it should be isolated by at least 50 feet. To ensure genetic variability, you should save the seed from at least 6 plants.
To get ripe seed, you need to let a fruit ripen completely. Separate the seed from the fruit by grating the seed bearing flesh and then mashing it in water. The seeds is then dried for storage. Eggplant seed is quite long lived if stored properly and may last for ten years.