This plant is known to us as talung-talungan or wild eggplant. Talung-talungan is a fake term for talong. However, it never bears fruit as big as normal eggplants. Its fruit is even smaller than regular jolens or marbles.
When we were kids, we used to get its fruits and play with it like real marbles.
This plant has a counterpart in Ilocos region, The balbalosa or ligaw na talong. It has many black thorns on leaves and branches. Bears fruit smaller or about as big as jolens. Compounded fruits are covered with numerous thin short hairs.
On the other hand, the wild eggplant in the picture has few green thorns. Bears fruits with the same appearance but not covered with hairs.
I wonder if it is edible too. I am too afraid to try. Maybe if I see a goat or bird feeding on it.
The balbalosa was included in Jessica Soho episode, the Ilocano veggies. The featured Ilocano lady cooked it as pinakbet with lots of red tomatoes.
Other featured veggies were:
a) bilagot – a plant growing near river falls, with taro like stalks and leaves, b) sugod-sugod – vine with amplalaya like leaves and small compounded fruits similar to jackfruit and breadfruit, green when raw, yellow when ripe and has slightly sweet taste.
Sugod-sugod belongs to family Cucurbitaceae with the scientific name of Momordica cochinchinensis.