Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia
Habit. Prostrate or sprawling, herbaceous resprouter or rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.1–0.3 m high.
Branchlets. Branchlets yellow or rusty. Branchlet prickles 350–560 per decimetre, straight, acicular, 4–12 mm long, 14–20 times longer than wide, glabrous. Branchlet hairs stellate. Branchlet stellae very dense. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 8–9, porrect or ascending. Branchlet stellae central ray 1–2 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Branchlet Type 2 hairs absent.
Leaves. Leaves elliptical or ovate, entire or shallowly lobed throughout. Leaf lobes 0 on each side or 2–3 on each side, obtuse, lobing index 1–1.1. Leaves 2.8–9.8 cm long, 1.3–4.4 cm wide, 2.1–2.8 times longer than broad. Leaf apex acute, base cuneate or obtuse. Leaf oblique part 0–4.5 mm long, obliqueness index 0–6 percent. Petioles 1.3–4 cm long, 26–56% length of lamina, prickles present.
Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface green. Upper leaf surface prickles present on midvein only or present on midvein and lateral veins, 1–20, straight, acicular, 3.5–13 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs distributed throughout, protostellae absent, hair density very dense. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 8, porrect or ascending. Upper leaf surface stellae central ray 1–2 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Upper leaf surface simple hairs absent. Upper leaf surface Type 2 hairs absent.
Lower leaf surface. Lower leaf surface yellowish. Lower leaf surface prickles present on midvein only or present on midvein and lateral veins, 3–35, straight, acicular. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density very dense. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 8–12, porrect or ascending or multiradiate. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray 0.9–2 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Lower leaf surface simple hairs absent. Lower leaf surface Type 2 hairs absent.
Inflorescence. Inflorescence supra-axillary, cymose (pseudo-racemose). Inflorescence common peduncle 11–27 mm long. Inflorescence rachis prickles present. Inflorescence 2–8-flowered. Flowers 5-merous. Pedicels at anthesis 3–5 mm long, same thickness throughout, prickles absent or present. Calyx tube at anthesis 2–3 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis attenuate, 3.5–8 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis present, 22–50 per flower, 3.5–8 mm long. Calyx stellae very dense, lateral rays 7–12. Calyx stellae central ray 1–2 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Calyx simple hairs absent, Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla purple, 9–15 mm long, rotate, inner surface glabrous. Anthers 3.6–4.3 mm long. Filaments 1 mm long. Ovary glabrous. Functional style 8–8.5 mm long, strongly bent near base, not touching anthers, glabrous.
Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes less than half length of mature fruit. Mature fruits 1–3 per inflorescence, oblate or globular, 19–20 mm diameter, brown or yellow, 2-locular. Mature fruits placenta stalked, anvil-shaped. Mature fruits interior juicy, succulent, pericarp 0.5–0.7 mm thick. Pedicels at fruiting stage 7–12 mm long. Seeds white or pale yellow, 1.8–2.5 mm long.
Distribution and habitat. Northern Territory. Shrublands in arid zone.
Miscellaneous. Subg. Leptostemonum. Data source: specimens.
Illustrations. • branchlet. • whole plant.
Cite this publication as: ‘Bean, A.R. 2012 onwards. Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia. Version: 29th June 2013. http://delta-intkey.com’.