9 of the Best White Eggplant Varieties

When I hear the word eggplant (Solanum melongena), I immediately think of my all-time favorite Mediterranean dish, the smoky, garlicky baba ghanoush.

The next thing I think of is eggplant’s famous color, that deep, gorgeous, intense shade of… white?

White eggplant? Let’s explore, shall we?

Have you ever wondered how our deep, dark purple eggplant got its rather vivid and seemingly meaningless name?

A vertical picture of white eggplants growing in the garden with long, thin fruits in creamy white surrounded by green foliage. To the center and bottom of the frame is green and white text.

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Raw, this large purple vegetable doesn’t look anything like an egg. When cooked, it doesn’t taste or look egg-like either.

So how did the word “egg” become attached to an aubergine, etymologically speaking?

Here’s how: In England in the 1700s a new vegetable made an appearance on the culinary scene. This vegetable was white, small, and shaped just like an egg.

It didn’t take much imagination to decide what to call this new vegetable: eggplant. The name endured, and encompasses the purple varieties, too.

A close up of a small creamy white aubergine fruit growing on the plant with small water droplets on it, surrounded by green foliage in soft focus in light sunshine.

There are still many cultivars of the white eggplant around today. Some are old heirloom varieties, while others are more recently cultivated hybrids.

And the fruits of these varieties come in all sorts of shapes and sizes – small and round, long and thin, or plump and oval.

I’m going to take you on a tour of nine cultivars that span all shapes and sizes, providing for a wide array of culinary uses. See our full guide if you are new to growing eggplant in your garden.

Here’s what I’ll cover:

White vs. Purple

Compared to purple varieties, many of the white cultivars have thinner skin, which is why they aren’t usually seen in supermarkets.

Thin skins mean they bruise more easily during transport, resulting in less-than-perfect-looking produce at the store.

A vertical close up of freshly harvested white aubergines with creamy white skin contrasting with green tops.

When you’re growing your own produce in your backyard, however, you don’t have to worry about transporting your crop nearly as far, so thinner skins might not be an issue for you at all.

And by the way, thin skin also comes with an advantage:

According to Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension Professor at the University of Vermont, along with their seeds, much of the bitterness associated with eating these vegetables comes from compounds contained in the skin.

Less skin equals less bitterness, so if the bitter flavor of purple eggplant has gotten in the way of your appreciation for this vegetable before, maybe it’s time to give it a second chance.

A vertical close up of a blue basket containing white, and various shades of purple eggplants harvested from the garden, on a blue soft focus background.

Some of these albino-looking varieties have much a sweeter taste than the purple ones, opening up possibilities for new and unexpected flavor experiences. Sounds like reason enough to give them a try to me!

9 of the Best White Eggplant Varieties for Your Garden

Ready for your tour through the world of unpigmented eggplant? Let’s go! Here are nine of my favorite white eggplant varieties to grow in your garden.

1. Casper

‘Casper’ is a French heirloom cultivar that is quite unique among eggplants.

Unlike most heat-loving varieties of this vegetable, ‘Casper’ actually thrives in the cooler days of the growing season, slowing down its production in the hottest part of the summer.

However, it is still frost sensitive, so don’t go planting it with your cool season crops.

A vertical picture showing the elongated white fruits of the white aubergine in light sunshine surrounded by green foliage, fading to soft focus in the background.

The ivory-colored fruit ripen early, reaching maturity in approximately 70 days.

This is good news for those of us with short summers who don’t always have enough time to bring those varieties that take longer to mature all the way to harvest.

On the other hand, gardeners in areas with long, hot summers would do well to pick a different variety.

A close up of an aubergine plant with long, thin white fruits hanging from the branches with soil and a wooden fence in soft focus in the background.

‘Casper’ plants will reach two to three feet tall at maturity, with elongated fruit that are almost entirely free from compounds that cause a bitter flavor.

These have a mild, almost mushroom-like flavor, along with meaty flesh and a silky texture. They are best picked whey they reach 6 inches in length.

‘Casper’ is an open-pollinated cultivar, so saved seeds will grow true if the plants are isolated from other varieties.

A close up of three fruits of the 'Caspar' variety of aubergine, set on a leaf on a wooden surface with purple flowers to the side.

‘Casper’

Seeds for ‘Casper’ are available in packets of various sizes from Eden Brothers.

2. Clara

Staying in Europe, but moving from France to Italy, ‘Clara’ is an Italian hybrid that produces a prolific harvest in 65-70 days.

The early maturing, bright and creamy fruits of ‘Clara’ are cylindrical in shape, reaching six to seven inches long and four to five inches wide.

A close up of freshly harvested white aubergines in a small wicker basket set on a rustic wooden surface.

With thin skin that bruises easily, you’ll want to use the fruits quickly once they are ripe.

‘Clara’ eggplant have a mild taste with nutty undertones, and a meaty, creamy texture.

3. Ghostbuster

As you may have noticed with ‘Caspar,’ references to ghosts abound among pale vegetable varieties. ‘Ghostbuster’ is another such example.

This hybrid offers a mid-season harvest, maturing in 72-80 days.

A close up of round, creamy white aubergines set in a wicker basket in light sunshine.

‘Ghostbuster’ plants can become quite large.

With their semi-spreading growth habit, it’s not unusual for plants to grow to five feet tall with a four-foot spread at maturity.

The fruits of ‘Ghostbuster’ are oval shaped, measuring up to six to seven inches long and four inches wide.

They retain a sweet flavor until overly ripe, at which point they turn yellow and develop a bitter taste – so make sure you pick them before they turn yellow.

4. Gretel

With a name alluding to a beloved childhood fairy tale, ‘Gretel’ fittingly produces clusters of small, pure ivory-colored eggplant.

A close up of small purple flowers of the eggplant, surrounded by green foliage on a soft focus background.

Reaching maturity in just 50-60 days, it is one of the earliest maturing white varieties we could find. This hybrid was a winner of the All America Selections Vegetable category in 2009.

The plant can grow to three to four feet tall with a two- to three-foot spread at maturity, and does well in containers.

A close up of long thin white eggplants ripening on the plant growing in the garden. The creamy white fruits contrast with the dark green foliage on a dark background.

‘Gretel’ has elongated fruit that are typically picked small, at three to four inches long. If left to mature, these will develop purple stripes.

This variety bears fruits that are sweet and never bitter, with few seeds, and skin that remains tender even when harvested late.

A close up of the creamy white oval fruit of the 'Gretel' variety of eggplant growing on the plant, surrounded by green foliage. To the bottom right of the frame is a circular white logo and text.

‘Gretel’

‘Gretel’ seeds in packets of 100 are available from True Leaf Market.

5. Japanese White Egg

‘Japanese White Egg’ is a heavy-yielding heirloom that will produce egg-shaped fruit, hearkening back to the origins of this vegetable’s name.

Ripening early, this container-friendly plant will reach maturity in around 65 days.

A close up of small white eggplants with creamy skin set in a basket with green foliage in soft focus in the background.

The fruits of this variety are shaped like large eggs, about two to three inches long, and at their peak they are rich and creamy tasting.

However, they will develop a bitter taste when they turn yellow, so make sure you harvest them before they start to change color.

6. Paloma

‘Paloma’ is another hybrid that is perfect for short-season growers. Plants are vigorous and highly productive, reaching maturity in just 65 days.

A close up of oval shaped, creamy white aubergines in a wicker basket in filtered sunshine.

What’s different about ‘Paloma’ are the bell-shaped, lightly ribbed eggplant it bears.

These thin-skinned fruits, reaching a squat four and a half inches long by three and a half inches wide, have a mildly sweet and creamy taste.

7. Snowy

‘Snowy’ is a short-season cultivar that produces large, cylindrical fruits on sturdy, upright plants reaching two to three feet tall at maturity.

Highly productive, ‘Snowy’ will mature in around 60 days, and is well suited for containers.

A close up of a small purple flower surrounded by green foliage with blue sky in the background.

Unlike ‘Clara,’ our other cylindrical selection, ‘Snowy’ is open-pollinated so you can save seeds for future plantings.

‘Snowy’ bears snow-colored eggplant that reach a hearty eight to 10 inches long and have a delicate, sweet, and mild flavor with no bitter undertones.

Fruits hold up well during cooking, thanks to their medium-to-thick skins and firm texture.

A close up square image of 'Snowy' white eggplants growing in the garden. To the bottom right of the frame is a black circular logo with text.

‘Snowy’

Seeds for ‘Snowy’ are available in a variety of package sizes from True Leaf Market.

8. Thai White Ribbed

You’d be forgiven if you mistook this eggplant for an heirloom tomato.

A close up of a small white round aubergine fruit growing in the garden surrounded by dark green foliage fading to soft focus in the background.

The fact that these two nightshade members of the Solanaceae family are related is easy to see when you look at fruits from this cultivar.

‘Thai White Ribbed’ produces its fruit on two- to three-feet-tall plants and takes up to 90 days to mature, so it is more suited to areas with a long growing season.

A vertical close up picture of small rounded white eggplants turning a shade of green and yellow.

This variety bears eggplant with a flattened round shape with deep ribbing – looking uncannily like albino heirloom slicing tomatoes.

The three- to four-inch fruits have a mild flavor, and a smooth and creamy texture.

9. White Comet

Shaped like shooting stars, ‘White Comet’ is a Japanese type that has very few seeds, and is totally without any bitter flavor.

A close up vertical picture of long, thin, creamy white aubergine fruits growing in the garden in light sunshine.

These hybrid plants reach two to three feet tall and mature in 70 days.

This variety produces elongated, ivory fruit that reach an astronomical 10 inches long and two inches wide.

Two long, thin white aubergine fruits set on a colorful plastic table cloth.

‘White Comet’ bears fruits that are thin-skinned, sweet, and meaty.

Cultivar Comparison Table

VarietyDays to MaturityFruit Size & ShapeFlavor & Texture
Casper706 inches; elongatedMild, mushroom-like; meaty
Clara65–706–7 inches long, 4–5 inches wide; cylindricalMild, nutty; creamy, meaty
Ghostbuster72–806–7 inches long, 4 inches wide; ovalSweet; creamy
Gretel50–603–4 inches; elongatedSweet, mild; tender
Japanese White Egg652–3 inches; egg-shapedRich, full-flavored; creamy
Paloma654–5 inches long, 3 inches wide; bell-shapedSweet, mild; creamy
Snowy608–10 inches; cylindricalSweet, mild; delicate
Thai White Ribbed903–4 inches; round and flatMild, tasty; smooth, creamy
White Comet7010 inches long, 2 inches wide; elongatedSweet, mild; meaty

A Plant By Any Other Name

Now that you’ve had the tour of these nine white cultivars, are you ready to put the egg back in your eggplant?

Which of these varieties sounds like it needs a spot in your garden? I’d love to hear about your plans in the comments.

A close up of five harvested aubergines, four white ones of various shapes and one purple one set on a rustic wooden background.

Personally, I’m ready to put every one of these varieties into my next batch of baba ghanoush.

And by the way, there’s a brilliant recipe for a baba ghanoush-hummus mashup over at our sister site Foodal.

Check it out if all this talk of eggplant has your mouth watering as much as it does mine.

A top down close up picture of roasted eggplant hummus in a blue and white bowl with a slice of lemon and drizzled with oil, set on a white plate and surrounded by nacho corn chips, with a rustic wooden surface in the background.
Photo by Felicia Lim.

If you’re interested in growing other tasty nightshades in your garden, dig in to these articles next:

And be sure to take a look at our 21 of the Best Japanese Eggplant Varieties guide to find some of the most recommended Asian cultivars.

Photo of author
Kristina Hicks-Hamblin lives on a dryland permaculture homestead in the high desert of Utah. She is a Certified Permaculture Designer, holds a Certificate in Native Plant Studies from the University of North Carolina Botanical Gardens, a Landscape for Life certificate through the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the United States Botanic Garden, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Kristina strives towards creating gardens where there are as many birds and bees as there are edibles.

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