Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia

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A. R. Bean

Solanum cinereum

Habit. Sprawling or erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.3–0.7 m high.

Branchlets. Branchlets grey or mauve to purple. Branchlet prickles 15–60 per decimetre, straight, acicular, 3–10 mm long, 11–16 times longer than wide, glabrous. Branchlet hairs stellate. Branchlet stellae dense to very dense, 0.35–0.5 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.1 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 8–14, porrect. Branchlet stellae central ray 0.5–1 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped, thready.

Leaves. Leaves ovate or broadly ovate, deeply lobed throughout. Leaf lobes 3–5 on each side, acute or obtuse, lobing index 2.7–5. Leaves 5.5–12.5 cm long, 3.5–5.5 cm wide, 1.4–2.5 times longer than broad. Leaf apex obtuse or acute, base cuneate or obtuse. Leaf oblique part 0–12 mm long, obliqueness index 0–12 percent. Petioles 1.7–3.3 cm long, 20–50% length of lamina, prickles present.

Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface green. Upper leaf surface prickles present on midvein and lateral veins, 13–65, straight, acicular, 2–10 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs confined to midrib or distributed throughout, protostellae absent, hair density very sparse to sparse. Upper leaf surface stellae 0.9–2.5 mm apart, 0.2–0.4 mm across, stalks 0 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 6–8, porrect. Upper leaf surface stellae central ray 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 and lateral veins, 20–45, straight, acicular. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density very dense. Lower leaf surface stellae c. 0.05 mm apart, 0.4–0.7 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.2 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 7–8, porrect. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray 0.5–1.5 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 absent or present, 0–18 mm long. Inflorescence rachis prickles present. Inflorescence 3–6-flowered, with some bisexual and some male flowers. Flowers 5-merous, all similar. Pedicels at anthesis 7–16 mm long, same thickness throughout, 0.8–1 mm thick at mid-point, prickles present. Calyx tube at anthesis 2.5–3.8 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis attenuate, 2.5–4 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis present, 20–65 per flower, 1–7 mm long. Calyx stellae dense, transparent or purple, 0.4–0.5 mm across, stalks 0 mm long, lateral rays 7–11. Calyx stellae central ray 0–0.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Calyx simple hairs absent, Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla purple, 11–15 mm long, rotate, inner surface sparsely stellate-hairy. Anthers 4–5.5 mm long. Ovary glabrous. Functional style 6–10 mm long, protruding between anthers, with stellate hairs only.

Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles 2–7 mm long. Mature fruits 1–4 per inflorescence, globular, 17–28 mm diameter, yellowish-green or green, often streaked, glabrous or with a few scattered stellate hairs, 2-locular. Mature fruits interior moist but not juicy, pericarp 2–4.5 mm thick. Pedicels at fruiting stage 15–27 mm long, 1.2–1.4 mm thick at mid-point. Seeds black, 2.9–3.7 mm long.

Distribution and habitat. Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria. Qld: Darling Downs. NSW: North Coast, Central Coast, Central Tablelands, Southern Tablelands, North-west Slopes, Central-west Slopes, South-west Slopes. Shrubby eucalypt woodland, remote from rainforest.

Miscellaneous. Naturalised (Vic and SA), native (Qld and NSW). Subg. Leptostemonum. Common name: Narrawa Burr. Data source: specimens.

Illustrations. • immature 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’.

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