Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia

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A. R. Bean

Solanum elatius

Habit. Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.6–3 m high.

Branchlets. Branchlets white or grey. Branchlet prickles absent or present, 0–8 per decimetre, straight, broad-based or curved, broad-based, 2.5–8 mm long, 4–7 times longer than wide, glabrous or with scattered stellate hairs on lower half. Branchlet hairs stellate. Branchlet stellae very dense, 0.15–0.3 mm diameter, stalks 0 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 11–15, porrect. Branchlet stellae central ray absent. Branchlet Type 2 hairs absent.

Leaves. Leaves linear or narrow lanceolate, entire. Leaves 4–9.2 cm long, 0.45–1.2 cm wide, 5.7–16 times longer than broad. Leaf apex obtuse or acute, base cuneate. Leaf oblique part 0–3 mm long, obliqueness index 0–5 percent. Petioles 0.6–1.4 cm long, 9–20% length of lamina, prickles absent.

Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface grey. Upper leaf surface prickles absent. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs distributed throughout, hair density dense to very dense. Upper leaf surface stellae 0.05–0.1 mm apart, 0.1–0.25 mm across, stalks 0 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 11–15, porrect. Upper leaf surface stellae central ray 0 times as long as laterals. Upper leaf surface simple hairs absent. Upper leaf surface Type 2 hairs absent.

Lower leaf surface. Lower leaf surface white, grey or silvery. Lower leaf surface prickles absent. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density dense to very dense. Lower leaf surface stellae 0.05–0.15 mm apart, 0.1–0.25 mm diameter, stalks 0 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 12–15, 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, cymose (pseudo-racemose). Inflorescence common peduncle 1–12 mm long. Inflorescence rachis prickles absent. Inflorescence 6–17-flowered, with some bisexual and some male flowers. Flowers 5-merous. Pedicels at anthesis 6–12 mm long, same thickness throughout, prickles absent. Calyx tube at anthesis 2–4 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis hemispherical or deltate, 1–2 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis absent. Calyx stellae very dense, yellow or white, 0.15–0.25 mm across, stalks 0 mm long, lateral rays 12–15. Calyx stellae central ray 0 times as long as laterals. Calyx simple hairs absent, Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla purple, 11–20 mm long, rotate, inner surface glabrous. Anthers 5.3–6.9 mm long. Filaments 1–1.5 mm long. Ovary glabrous. Functional style 10–11 mm long, protruding between anthers, glabrous.

Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles absent. Mature fruits 1–6 per inflorescence, globular, 11–14 mm diameter, black, shiny, 1-locular (septum absent or incomplete). Mature fruits interior dry, pericarp 0.1–0.3 mm thick. Pedicels at fruiting stage 9–14 mm long. Seeds brown or black, 4–5.2 mm long.

Distribution and habitat. Western Australia. Red earths in mulga (Acacia aneura) dominated communities, shrublands in arid zone.

Miscellaneous. Subg. Leptostemonum. Data source: specimens.

Illustrations. • mature fruit. • flowers and fruits. • 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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