Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia
Habit. Prostrate, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.1–0.3 m high.
Branchlets. Branchlets yellow or rusty or brown. Branchlet prickles 100–660 per decimetre, straight, acicular, 1–8 mm long, 10–20 times longer than wide, glabrous. Branchlet hairs stellate. Branchlet stellae very dense, 0.6–0.8 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.8 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 7–8, porrect. Branchlet stellae central ray 0.8–1.8 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped, thready.
Leaves. Leaves ovate or broadly ovate, entire or shallowly lobed throughout. Leaf lobes 0 on each side or 3–4 on each side, obtuse, lobing index 1–1.1. Leaves 3.5–9.5 cm long, 2–5.5 cm wide, 1.6–2.1 times longer than broad. Leaf apex acute, base obtuse or cordate. Leaf oblique part 0–3.5 mm long, obliqueness index 0–9 percent. Petioles 1.1–5 cm long, 25–55% length of lamina, prickles present.
Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface grey-green. Upper leaf surface prickles absent or present on midvein only or present on midvein and lateral veins, 0–12, straight, acicular, 3–5 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs distributed throughout, protostellae absent, hair density moderate density to very dense. Upper leaf surface stellae 0.05–0.4 mm apart, 0.4–0.8 mm across, stalks 0–0.2 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 7–9, porrect. Upper leaf surface stellae central ray 1–1.5 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 absent or present on midvein only or present on midvein and lateral veins, 0–9, straight, acicular. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density dense to very dense. Lower leaf surface stellae 0.05–0.15 mm apart, 0.6–0.9 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.2 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 7–8, porrect. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray 1–1.5 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 25–38 mm long. Inflorescence rachis prickles present. Inflorescence 2–6-flowered, with all flowers bisexual. Flowers 5-merous. Pedicels at anthesis 3–11 mm long, same thickness throughout or markedly thicker distally, 1–1.2 mm thick at mid-point, prickles present. Calyx tube at anthesis 3–6 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis deltate or rostrate or attenuate, 2.5–6 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis present, 60–300 per flower, 1–3 mm long. Calyx stellae very dense, yellow or brown or rusty, 0.7–0.9 mm across, stalks 0–1.1 mm long, lateral rays 7–8. Calyx stellae central ray 1–1.8 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Calyx simple hairs absent, Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla mauve or purple, 9–14 mm long, rotate, inner surface glabrous. Anthers 3.5–6 mm long. Filaments 1.2–2.2 mm long. Ovary glabrous. Functional style 7–12 mm long, protruding between anthers or strongly bent near base, not touching anthers, glabrous.
Fruits. Fruiting calyx hypanthium accrescent, enclosing most or all of mature fruit, prickles 1–8 mm long. Mature fruits 1–4 per inflorescence, oblate, 15–23 mm diameter, 4-locular. Mature fruits placenta stalked, anvil-shaped. Mature fruits interior moist but not juicy, pericarp 2–2.5 mm thick. Pedicels at fruiting stage 10–18 mm long, 1–1.8 mm thick at mid-point. Seeds brown, 2–2.7 mm long.
Distribution and habitat. Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia. Qld: Burke. Shrubby eucalypt woodland, remote from rainforest.
Miscellaneous. Subg. Leptostemonum. Data source: specimens.
Illustrations. • long-stalked stellate hair.
Cite this publication as: ‘Bean, A.R. 2012 onwards. Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia. Version: 29th June 2013. http://delta-intkey.com’.