Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia


A. R. Bean

Solanum capsicoides

Habit. Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.3–1 m high.

Branchlets. Branchlets brown or green. Branchlet prickles 30–80 per decimetre, straight, acicular, 1.5–8 mm long, 8–16 times longer than wide, glabrous or with scattered Type 2 hairs on lower half. Branchlet hairs Type 2 or simple. Branchlet stellae absent. Branchlet simple hairs erect, straight, not gland-tipped, 3–6 mm long. Branchlet Type 2 hairs sparse or dense.

Leaves. Leaves broadly ovate or orbicular, entire or shallowly lobed throughout or deeply lobed throughout. Leaf lobes 0 on each side or 2–4 on each side, acute or obtuse, lobing index 1–3. Leaves 7.5–16.5 cm long, 6–13 cm wide, 1–1.4 times longer than broad. Leaf apex acute, base obtuse or cordate. Leaf oblique part 0–6 mm long, obliqueness index 0–4 percent. Petioles 3.8–6.2 cm long, 35–55% length of lamina, prickles present.

Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface green. Upper leaf surface prickles present on midvein and lateral veins, 4–30, straight, acicular or straight, broad-based, 3–10 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs absent, hair density absent from surface. Upper leaf surface simple hairs erect, straight, sparse or moderate to dense, not gland-tipped, 1–4 mm long. Upper leaf surface Type 2 hairs present only in vein depressions.

Lower leaf surface. Lower leaf surface green. Lower leaf surface prickles present on midvein and lateral veins, 30–50, straight, acicular or straight, broad-based. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density absent. Lower leaf surface simple hairs absent or erect, straight, sparse or moderate to dense, not gland-tipped, 1.5–3 mm long. Lower leaf surface Type 2 hairs present only on veins.

Inflorescence. Inflorescence supra-axillary, solitary or sessile (rachis very short or absent). Inflorescence common peduncle absent. Inflorescence 1–5-flowered, with some bisexual and some male flowers. Flowers 5-merous. Pedicels at anthesis 8–21 mm long, same thickness throughout, 0.3–0.4 mm thick at mid-point, prickles present. Calyx tube at anthesis 1–3 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis deltate, 1.5–3 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis present, 20–30 per flower, 1.5–6 mm long. Calyx stellae absent. Calyx simple hairs present, Type 2 hairs present. Corolla white, 7–10 mm long, deeply lobed, inner surface glabrous. Anthers 4.5–6 mm long. Ovary with Type 2 hairs only. Functional style 5.5–7 mm long, protruding between anthers, glabrous.

Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles 3–7 mm long. Mature fruits 1–3 per inflorescence, globular, 25–45 mm diameter, orange, 1-locular (septum absent or incomplete). Mature fruits placenta not apparent. Mature fruits interior dry, pericarp 2 mm thick. Pedicels at fruiting stage 17–28 mm long, 1–1.4 mm thick at mid-point. Seeds pale yellow, 4.8–5.5 mm long.

Distribution and habitat. Queensland, New South Wales. Qld: Moreton, Wide Bay, Burnett, Cook, Port Curtis, Kennedy South. NSW: North Coast, Central Coast, North-west Slopes. Evergreen notophyll rainforest (no eucalypts), wet eucalypt forest with rainforest understorey, or rainforest margins.

Miscellaneous. Naturalised. Subg. Leptostemonum. Common name: Devil's Apple. Data source: specimens.

Illustrations. • leaf and mature fruit.

Cite this publication as: ‘Bean, A.R. 2012 onwards. Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia. Version: 29th June 2013.’.