Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia
Habit. Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.15–0.6 m high.
Branchlets. Branchlets yellow or rusty or brown. Branchlet prickles 80–700 per decimetre, straight, acicular, 2–7 mm long, 14–18 times longer than wide, glabrous. Branchlet hairs stellate. Branchlet stellae very dense, 0.6–1.1 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.2 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 7–8, porrect or ascending. Branchlet stellae central ray 0.7–1.4 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Branchlet Type 2 hairs absent.
Leaves. Leaves ovate or broadly ovate, entire. Leaves 4.9–9 cm long, 3–4.8 cm wide, 1.5–2.4 times longer than broad. Leaf apex obtuse or acute, base cuneate or obtuse. Leaf oblique part 1–3.5 mm long, obliqueness index 1–4 percent. Petioles 1.2–3 cm long, 17–33% length of lamina, prickles present.
Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface grey. Upper leaf surface prickles absent or present on midvein only, 0–4, straight, acicular, 2–4.5 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs distributed throughout, hair density dense or very dense. Upper leaf surface stellae 0.05–0.2 mm apart, 0.5–0.7 mm across, stalks 0–0.15 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 6–8, porrect or ascending. Upper leaf surface stellae central ray 0.7–1.3 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 white, grey. Lower leaf surface prickles present on midvein only or present on midvein and lateral veins, 3–10, straight, acicular. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density very dense. Lower leaf surface stellae 0.05–0.1 mm apart, 0.6–0.9 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.3 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 7–8, porrect. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray 0.7–1.3 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 15–41 mm long. Inflorescence rachis prickles present. Inflorescence 7–11-flowered, with all flowers bisexual. Flowers 5-merous. Pedicels at anthesis 5–11 mm long, same thickness throughout, prickles absent or present. Calyx tube at anthesis 2.5–4 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis deltate or attenuate, 1.5–7.5 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis present, 14–40 per flower, 1–3 mm long. Calyx stellae very dense, white or purple, 0.4–0.8 mm across, stalks 0.1–0.5 mm long, lateral rays 7–8. Calyx stellae central ray 0.8–1.4 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Calyx simple hairs absent, Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla purple, 9–14 mm long, shallowly lobed, inner surface sparsely stellate-hairy or densely stellate-hairy. Anthers 4.4–6.1 mm long. Ovary glabrous. Functional style 7.5–8.5 mm long, protruding between anthers, glabrous. Stigma unexpanded.
Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes less than half length of mature fruit or lobes more than half length of mature fruit, prickles 2–4 mm long. Mature fruits 2–4 per inflorescence, globular, 18–20 mm diameter, green, often streaked, 2-locular or 4-locular. Mature fruits placenta stalked, anvil-shaped. Mature fruits interior moist but not juicy, pericarp 3–3.3 mm thick. Pedicels at fruiting stage 8–21 mm long, 1.2 mm thick at mid-point. Seeds pale yellow, 2.5–2.7 mm long.
Distribution and habitat. Queensland, New South Wales. Qld: Maranoa, Warrego, Mitchell, Gregory South, Gregory North. NSW: North Western Plains, South Western Plains, North Far Western Plains. Red earths in mulga (Acacia aneura) dominated communities, shrublands in arid zone.
Miscellaneous. Subg. Leptostemonum. Data source: specimens.
Illustrations. • habit. • inflorescence. • well developed plant. • flowers. • plant habit.
Cite this publication as: ‘Bean, A.R. 2012 onwards. Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia. Version: 29th June 2013. http://delta-intkey.com’.