Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia
Habit. Sprawling or erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.6–3 m high.
Branchlets. Branchlets grey or yellow or rusty or brown. Branchlet prickles 4–30 per decimetre, straight, acicular, 3–7 mm long, 12–16 times longer than wide, glabrous. Branchlet hairs stellate. Branchlet stellae dense to very dense, 0.15–0.25 mm diameter, stalks 0 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 6–8, porrect. Branchlet stellae central ray absent.
Leaves. Leaves elliptical or ovate (sometimes obovate), entire or shallowly lobed throughout. Leaf lobes 0 on each side or 2–3 on each side, obtuse, lobing index 1–1.2. Leaves 4.5–10.5 cm long, 1.9–5 cm wide, 2–2.9 times longer than broad. Leaf apex acute, base cuneate. Leaf oblique part 0–1.5 mm long, obliqueness index 0–2 percent. Petioles 0.3–1.1 cm long, 6–14% length of lamina, prickles absent.
Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface green. Upper leaf surface prickles absent or present on midvein only or present on midvein and lateral veins, 0–15, straight, acicular, 3–6 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs absent or confined to midrib, hair density absent from surface. 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 absent or present on midvein only or present on midvein and lateral veins, 0–5, straight, acicular. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density very dense. Lower leaf surface stellae 0.05 mm apart, 0.15–0.25 mm diameter, stalks 0 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 7–8, porrect. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray 0 times as long as laterals. Lower leaf surface simple hairs absent. Lower leaf surface Type 2 hairs absent.
Inflorescence. Inflorescence supra-axillary, sessile (rachis very short or absent) or cymose (pseudo-racemose). Inflorescence common peduncle absent or present, 0–3 mm long. Inflorescence rachis prickles absent. Inflorescence 3–10-flowered, with all flowers bisexual. Flowers 5-merous. Pedicels at anthesis 6–21 mm long, same thickness throughout, 0.3–0.5 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent. Calyx tube at anthesis 1–2.5 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis deltate or rostrate, 1.5–3 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis absent. Calyx stellae moderate to dense, 0.15–0.25 mm across, stalks 0 mm long, lateral rays 6–8. Calyx stellae central ray 0 times as long as laterals. Calyx simple hairs absent, Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla white or mauve, 8–10 mm long, deeply lobed, inner surface glabrous. Anthers 4–5.5 mm long. Ovary with Type 2 hairs only. Functional style 5.5–7 mm long, protruding between anthers, with Type 2 hairs only or with stellate and Type 2 hairs. Functional style stellae c. 0.2 mm across, lateral rays 6–7, central ray 0.5–1 times as long as laterals.
Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles absent. Mature fruits 1–2 per inflorescence, globular, 7–12 mm diameter, red, 1-locular (septum absent or incomplete). Mature fruits placenta not apparent. Mature fruits interior juicy, succulent, pericarp 0.2–0.7 mm thick. Pedicels at fruiting stage 10–22 mm long, 0.6–0.9 mm thick at mid-point. Seeds pale yellow, 2.8–3.7 mm long.
Distribution and habitat. Queensland, New South Wales. Qld: Moreton, Darling Downs, Wide Bay, Burnett, Cook, Port Curtis, Kennedy North. NSW: North Coast. Evergreen notophyll rainforest (no eucalypts).
Miscellaneous. Subg. Leptostemonum. Data source: specimens.
Illustrations. • immature and mature fruits. • leaves (lower surface) and mature fruits. • flowers. • mature fruits. • leaves, upper surface.
Cite this publication as: ‘Bean, A.R. 2012 onwards. Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia. Version: 29th June 2013. http://delta-intkey.com’.