EFN INTRODUCTION. 'Chi Yei' is an early, fast-ripening, delicious eggplant variety from China, which was donated to the USDA collection by the Beijing Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Science in 1979. We're proud to have rescued these seeds from the obscurity of a government seed bank and introduced them to gardeners and farmers across the US.
'Chi Yei' can be very productive in fertile soils, with the potential of six or more fruit per plant if they are happy. Fruit are round, almost globe-shaped, with firm flesh and shiny, deep purple skin, that is rich in anthocyanins. The stems are also dark purple, and the leaves have a dark tint to them as well, which perhaps explains why these eggplants seem to withstand flea beetle infestations better than others. Plants don't get too big or tall, and seem to put their energy into producing fruit. If you have a really short season and never have any luck with eggplants, give 'Chi Yei' a try!
GROWING TIPS: Start seeds indoors in March. Plant out in field after danger of last frost. Plants should be 16-24 inches apart in rows that are at least two feet apart.