Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia
Habit. Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 1.5–4 m high.
Branchlets. Branchlets rusty or brown or green. Branchlet prickles 0–20 per decimetre, curved, broad-based, 1–4 mm long, 2–3 times longer than wide, glabrous or with scattered stellate hairs on lower half. Branchlet hairs stellate. Branchlet stellae sparse to moderate to dense, 0.5–0.6 mm diameter, stalks 0.1–1 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 6–8, porrect. Branchlet stellae central ray absent or present, 0–0.4 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped, rigid.
Leaves. Leaves broadly ovate, shallowly lobed throughout. Leaf lobes 3–5 on each side, acute or obtuse, lobing index 1.2–2.1. Leaves 12–26 cm long, 9–19 cm wide, 1.3–1.9 times longer than broad. Leaf apex acute or acuminate, base cuneate or obtuse or cordate. Leaf oblique part 0–12 mm long, obliqueness index 0–5 percent. Petioles 2–6.3 cm long, 11–25% length of lamina, prickles absent or present.
Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface green. Upper leaf surface prickles absent. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs distributed throughout, protostellae present, hair density sparse to moderate density. Upper leaf surface stellae 0.3–0.6 mm apart, 0.2–0.6 mm across, stalks 0 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 5–8, porrect. Upper leaf surface stellae central ray 0.2–2 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 green or yellowish. Lower leaf surface prickles absent or present on midvein only, 0–3, straight, broad-based or curved, broad-based. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density moderate to dense. Lower leaf surface stellae 0.3–0.5 mm apart, 0.4–0.6 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.3 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 6–8, porrect. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray 0.1–0.7 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Lower leaf surface simple hairs absent. Lower leaf surface Type 2 hairs absent.
Inflorescence. Inflorescence leaf-opposed or supra-axillary, branched (paniculate to corymbose). Inflorescence common peduncle 6–18 mm long. Inflorescence rachis prickles absent. Inflorescence 13–65-flowered, with some bisexual and some male flowers. Flowers 5-merous. Pedicels at anthesis 3–13 mm long, markedly thicker distally, 0.7–0.9 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent. Calyx tube at anthesis 2–4 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis rostrate or attenuate, 4.5–10 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis absent. Calyx stellae dense to very dense, brown or rusty, 0.3–0.9 mm across, stalks 0–1 mm long, lateral rays 7–9. Calyx stellae central ray 0.2–1 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Calyx simple hairs absent, Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla white, 14–20 mm long, deeply lobed, inner surface sparsely stellate-hairy. Anthers 6–9 mm long. Ovary with Type 2 hairs only. Functional style 10–13.5 mm long, protruding between anthers, with Type 2 hairs only.
Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes less than half length of mature fruit or lobes more than half length of mature fruit, prickles absent. Mature fruits 7–37 per inflorescence, globular, 14–17 mm diameter, yellow or yellowish-green, 2-locular or 3-locular. Mature fruits placenta stalked, anvil-shaped. Mature fruits interior moist but not juicy, pericarp 0.5–0.8 mm thick. Pedicels at fruiting stage 11–21 mm long, 1.4–1.8 mm thick at mid-point. Seeds pale yellow, 2.4–2.8 mm long.
Distribution and habitat. Queensland, New South Wales. Qld: Moreton, Wide Bay, Burnett. NSW: North Coast. Wet eucalypt forest with rainforest understorey, or rainforest margins.
Miscellaneous. Naturalised. Subg. Leptostemonum. Common name: Giant Devil's Fig. Data source: specimens.
Illustrations. • flowers. • leaves and flowers. • ripe fruits. • shrub. • flowers and ripe fruits. • prickles on stem. • leaves and fruit.
Cite this publication as: ‘Bean, A.R. 2012 onwards. Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia. Version: 29th June 2013. http://delta-intkey.com’.