Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia


A. R. Bean

Solanum erianthum

Habit. Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub or non-rhizomatous perennial shrub, 1–4 m high. Large stems prickles absent.

Branchlets. Branchlets grey or yellow or rusty or brown. Branchlet prickles absent. Branchlet hairs stellate. Branchlet stellae very dense, 0.3–0.6 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.7 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 12–30, echinoid. Branchlet stellae central ray not gland-tipped, thready. Branchlet Type 2 hairs absent.

Leaves. Leaves elliptical or ovate or broadly ovate, entire. Leaves 7–18 cm long, 4–9 cm wide, 1.8–2.1 times longer than broad. Leaf apex acute or acuminate, base cuneate or obtuse. Petioles 1.9–5.3 cm long, 21–32% length of lamina, prickles absent. Axillary leaves absent.

Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface green or grey-green. Upper leaf surface prickles absent. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs distributed throughout, protostellae present, hair density moderate density or dense or very dense. Upper leaf surface stellae stalks 0–0.15 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 5–12, ascending or multiradiate. Upper leaf surface stellae central ray not gland-tipped. Upper leaf surface simple hairs absent. Upper leaf surface Type 2 hairs absent.

Lower leaf surface. Lower leaf surface greenish-white or white, grey. Lower leaf surface prickles absent. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density dense or very dense. Lower leaf surface stellae 0.4–0.7 mm diameter, stalks 0.1–0.5 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 7–15, ascending or multiradiate. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray not gland-tipped. Lower leaf surface simple hairs absent. Lower leaf surface Type 2 hairs absent.

Inflorescence. Inflorescence terminal, branched (paniculate to corymbose). Inflorescence common peduncle 30–50 mm long. Inflorescence rachis prickles absent. Inflorescence with all flowers bisexual. Flowers 5-merous. Pedicels at anthesis prickles absent. Calyx lobes at anthesis deltate, 2–2.5 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis absent. Calyx stellae dense or very dense. Calyx stellae central ray not gland-tipped. Calyx simple hairs absent, Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla white, deeply lobed, inner surface glabrous. Functional style protruding between anthers.

Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles absent. Mature fruits globular, 9–13 mm diameter, yellow or yellowish-green, conspicuously stellate hairy. Pedicels at fruiting stage 7–12 mm long. Seeds 1.6–2 mm long.

Distribution and habitat. Queensland, New South Wales. Qld: Moreton, Wide Bay, Cook, Port Curtis, Kennedy South, Kennedy North. NSW: North Coast, Central Coast. Wet eucalypt forest with rainforest understorey, or rainforest margins, semi-evergreen vine thicket or brigalow/belah.

Miscellaneous. Naturalised. Subg. Brevantherum. Data source: Symon 1981, specimens.

Cite this publication as: ‘Bean, A.R. 2012 onwards. Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia. Version: 29th June 2013.’.