Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia

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A. R. Bean

Solanum carduiforme

Habit. Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.5–1 m high.

Branchlets. Branchlets terete or ridged, white or grey or rusty. Branchlet prickles 140–600 per decimetre, straight, acicular, 1–11 mm long, 10–14 times longer than wide, with dense stellate hairs on lower part. Branchlet hairs stellate. Branchlet stellae very dense, 0.25–0.5 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.1 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 7–11, porrect or ascending. Branchlet stellae central ray present, 0.7–2 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped, thready. Branchlet simple hairs absent.

Leaves. Leaves elliptical or ovate, deeply lobed throughout. Leaf lobes 3–5 on each side, obtuse, lobing index 2.5–12. Leaves 5–7.5 cm long, 2–3 cm wide, 1.9–3 times longer than broad. Leaf apex obtuse or acute, base cuneate or obtuse. Leaf oblique part 4–7 mm long, obliqueness index 6–10 percent. Petioles 0.7–1.4 cm long, 15–25% length of lamina, prickles present.

Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface grey-green or grey. Upper leaf surface prickles present on midvein only or present on midvein and lateral veins, 4–55, straight, acicular, 1–10 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs distributed throughout, protostellae absent, hair density dense to very dense. Upper leaf surface stellae 0.05–0.15 mm apart, 0.2–0.35 mm across, stalks 0 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 7–8, porrect. Upper leaf surface stellae central ray 0.2–1.2 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 white, grey or yellowish. Lower leaf surface prickles present on midvein only or present on midvein and lateral veins, 6–70, straight, acicular. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density very dense. Lower leaf surface stellae c. 0.05 mm apart, 0.25–0.4 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.1 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 7–8, porrect. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray 0.2–1.2 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, solitary (bisexual) or cymose (pseudo-racemose) (male). Inflorescence common peduncle 14–18 mm long. Inflorescence rachis prickles present. Inflorescence 12–28-flowered (male), with all flowers unisexual (dioecious species). Flowers 5-merous, markedly dimorphic, with larger pricklier basal flower(s). Pedicels at anthesis 2–6 mm long, same thickness throughout, 0.4–0.8 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent or present. Calyx prickles on basal bisexual flowers 300–600, 1–5 mm long. Calyx prickles on distal male flowers 18–30, 1–4 mm long. Calyx tube at anthesis 2–4 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis deltate, 2–3.5 mm long. Calyx stellae very dense, white or brown or rusty, 0.3–0.4 mm across, stalks 0–0.1 mm long, lateral rays 7–8. Calyx stellae central ray 0.7–1.4 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Calyx simple hairs absent, Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla purple, 11–14 mm long (male), rotate, inner surface densely stellate-hairy. Anthers 4–4.5 mm long. Ovary glabrous. Functional style 9.5–12 mm long, protruding between anthers, glabrous. Stigma forked.

Fruits. Fruiting calyx hypanthium accrescent, enclosing most or all of mature fruit, prickles 3–10 mm long. Mature fruits 1 per inflorescence, globular, c. 25 mm diameter. Pedicels at fruiting stage 3–5 mm long, 1.5–2 mm thick at mid-point.

Distribution and habitat. Queensland, Western Australia. Qld: Cook, Burke. Shrubby eucalypt woodland, remote from rainforest.

Miscellaneous. Subg. Leptostemonum. Data source: specimens.

Illustrations. • bush. • fruiting (female) 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’.

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