Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia
Habit. Sprawling or erect, herbaceous resprouter or rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.3–1 m high.
Branchlets. Branchlets terete or ridged, rusty or brown. Branchlet prickles 80–130 per decimetre, straight, acicular or straight, broad-based, 1–9 mm long, 7–11 times longer than wide, with scattered Type 2 hairs on lower half (and finger hairs). Branchlet hairs simple or stellate. Branchlet stellae sparse to moderate to dense, 0.4–0.6 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.1 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 6–8, porrect or ascending. Branchlet stellae central ray 2–3 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped or gland-tipped, rigid. Branchlet simple hairs erect, straight, not gland-tipped or gland-tipped, 0.2–0.4 mm long.
Leaves. Leaves elliptical or broadly ovate, shallowly lobed throughout. Leaf lobes 3–5 on each side, acute or obtuse, lobing index 1.2–1.4. Leaves 4.7–13.4 cm long, 3.1–10.4 cm wide, 1.2–1.6 times longer than broad. Leaf apex obtuse or acute, base obtuse or cordate. Leaf oblique part 0–10 mm long, obliqueness index 0–7 percent. Petioles 2.1–6 cm long, 32–55% length of lamina, prickles present.
Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface green or grey-green. Upper leaf surface prickles present on midvein and lateral veins, 40–76, straight, acicular, 4–10 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs distributed throughout, protostellae present, hair density very sparse or sparse. Upper leaf surface stellae 0.6–2.5 mm apart, 0.3–0.5 mm across, stalks 0 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 1–4, ascending. Upper leaf surface stellae central ray 2–6 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped or gland-tipped. Upper leaf surface simple hairs erect, straight, moderate to dense, gland-tipped, 0.2–1.2 mm long. Upper leaf surface Type 2 hairs absent.
Lower leaf surface. Lower leaf surface greenish-white or white, grey. Lower leaf surface prickles present on midvein and lateral veins, 28–48, straight, acicular. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density sparse or moderate. Lower leaf surface stellae 0.3–0.4 mm apart, 0.4–0.5 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.1 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 4–8, porrect. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray 2–4 times as long as laterals, gland-tipped. Lower leaf surface simple hairs erect, straight, sparse, gland-tipped, 0.15–0.3 mm long. Lower leaf surface Type 2 hairs absent.
Inflorescence. Inflorescence leaf-opposed or supra-axillary, cymose (pseudo-racemose). Inflorescence common peduncle 25–37 mm long. Inflorescence rachis prickles present. Inflorescence 5–7-flowered, with some bisexual and some male flowers. Flowers 5-merous, all similar or markedly dimorphic, with larger pricklier basal flower(s). Pedicels at anthesis 8–15 mm long, same thickness throughout, 0.7–0.9 mm thick at mid-point, prickles present. Calyx prickles on basal bisexual flowers 56–75, 2–5 mm long. Calyx prickles on distal male flowers 15–25, 2–5 mm long. Calyx tube at anthesis 3.5–6 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis deltate or attenuate, 3.5–7 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis present, 18–75 per flower, 2–5 mm long. Calyx stellae dense, transparent, 0.3–0.6 mm across, stalks 0–0.1 mm long, lateral rays 3–7. Calyx stellae central ray 2–4 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Calyx simple hairs present, Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla purple, 15–20 mm long, campanulate, inner surface glabrous. Anthers 6.2–8.5 mm long. Ovary glabrous. Functional style 9.5 mm long, strongly bent near base, not touching anthers, with Type 2 hairs only.
Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes exceeding mature fruit or hypanthium accrescent, enclosing most or all of mature fruit, prickles 2.5–4 mm long. Mature fruits 1–4 per inflorescence, globular, 26 mm diameter. Pedicels at fruiting stage 20–27 mm long, 1.3–1.4 mm thick at mid-point. Seeds black, 2.8–3.1 mm long.
Distribution and habitat. New South Wales. NSW: Central Coast, Central Tablelands, Central-west Slopes. Shrubby eucalypt woodland, remote from rainforest.
Miscellaneous. Subg. Leptostemonum. Data source: specimens.
Cite this publication as: ‘Bean, A.R. 2012 onwards. Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia. Version: 29th June 2013. http://delta-intkey.com’.