Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia

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A. R. Bean

Solanum esuriale

Habit. Sprawling or erect, herbaceous resprouter, 0.1–0.4 m high.

Branchlets. Branchlets terete or ridged, grey or brown. Branchlet prickles absent or present, 0–100 per decimetre, straight, acicular, 1–4 mm long, 8–12 times longer than wide, glabrous or with scattered stellate hairs on lower half. Branchlet hairs stellate. Branchlet stellae very dense, 0.7–0.9 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.2 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 8–12, porrect. Branchlet stellae central ray 0.3–1 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped, thready.

Leaves. Leaves linear or narrow lanceolate or lanceolate, entire or shallowly lobed throughout. Leaf lobes 0 on each side or 3–5 on each side, obtuse, lobing index 1–1.1. Leaves 3–10 cm long, 0.7–1.4 cm wide, 3.8–14 times longer than broad. Leaf apex obtuse or acute, base cuneate. Leaf oblique part 0–2 mm long, obliqueness index 0–4 percent. Petioles 0.4–1.4 cm long, 13–20% length of lamina, prickles absent or present.

Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface grey-green or grey. Upper leaf surface prickles absent. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs distributed throughout, protostellae absent or present, hair density moderate density to very dense. Upper leaf surface stellae 0.05–0.4 mm apart, 0.4–0.7 mm across, stalks 0 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 6–12, porrect. Upper leaf surface stellae central ray 0.5–1 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. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density dense to very dense. Lower leaf surface stellae 0.05–0.4 mm apart, 0.5–0.8 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.1 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 8–14, porrect. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray 0.3–1 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 14–36 mm long. Inflorescence rachis prickles absent. Inflorescence 3–6-flowered, with all flowers bisexual. Flowers 5-merous. Pedicels at anthesis 5–9 mm long, same thickness throughout, 0.6–0.7 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent. Calyx tube at anthesis 2–3 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis rostrate or attenuate, 2–3.5 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis absent or present, 0–3 per flower, 0.5–1 mm long. Calyx stellae very dense, yellow or white or brown or rusty, 0.5–0.7 mm across, stalks 0–0.1 mm long, lateral rays 6–9. Calyx stellae central ray 0.3–1 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Calyx simple hairs absent, Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla mauve or purple, 8–13 mm long, shallowly lobed, inner surface glabrous. Anthers 3.5–5 mm long. Ovary glabrous or with stellate hairs only. Functional style 6–7 mm long, protruding between anthers, glabrous or with stellate hairs only. Functional style stellae 0.5–0.7 mm across, lateral rays 6–8, central ray 0.7–1 times as long as laterals.

Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles absent or present, prickles 1–1.5 mm long. Mature fruits 1–4 per inflorescence, globular or ellipsoidal or ovoid, 12–15 mm diameter, yellowish-green or green, often streaked, glabrous or with a few scattered stellate hairs, 2-locular. Mature fruits placenta stalked, anvil-shaped. Mature fruits interior moist but not juicy, pericarp 1–1.3 mm thick. Pedicels at fruiting stage 7–20 mm long, 0.9–1.1 mm thick at mid-point. Seeds pale yellow, 3–4.2 mm long.

Distribution and habitat. Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Northern Territory, Western Australia. Qld: Darling Downs, Maranoa, Leichhardt, Warrego, Port Curtis, Mitchell, Gregory South, Gregory North, Kennedy South, Kennedy North, Burke. NSW: North-west Slopes, Central-west Slopes, South-west Slopes, North Western Plains, South Western Plains, North Far Western Plains, South Far Western Plains. Semi-evergreen vine thicket or brigalow/belah, shrubby eucalypt woodland, remote from rainforest, grassland or open woodland on cracking clays, shrublands in arid zone.

Miscellaneous. Subg. Leptostemonum. Common name: Quena. Data source: specimens.

Illustrations. • whole plant. • colony of flowering plants. • 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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