Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia

DELTA Home

A. R. Bean

Solanum ferocissimum

Habit. Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.4–1.5 m high.

Branchlets. Branchlets white or grey or brown. Branchlet prickles 15–60 per decimetre, straight, acicular, 2–10 mm long, 9–13 times longer than wide, glabrous or with scattered Type 2 hairs on lower half. Branchlet hairs stellate. Branchlet stellae sparse to moderate to very dense, 0.25–0.4 mm diameter, stalks 0 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 7–8, porrect. Branchlet stellae central ray absent or present, 0–0.8 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped.

Leaves. Leaves linear, entire or with basal lobes only. Leaf lobes 0–1 on each side, obtuse. Leaves 3–7.5 cm long, 0.2–0.7 cm wide, 9–26 times longer than broad. Leaf apex obtuse or acute, base cuneate or hastate. Leaf oblique part 0–1 mm long, obliqueness index 0–2 percent. Petioles 0.4–1 cm long, 8–20% length of lamina, prickles absent.

Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface green. Upper leaf surface prickles present on midvein only, 2–6, straight, acicular, 2–9 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs confined to midrib or distributed throughout, protostellae absent, hair density very sparse to sparse. Upper leaf surface stellae 0.4–0.8 mm apart, 0.25–0.35 mm across, stalks 0 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 4–8, porrect. Upper leaf surface stellae central ray 0–1 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 green or greenish-white or white, grey or yellowish. Lower leaf surface prickles absent or present on midvein only, 0–4, straight, acicular. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density sparse to very dense. Lower leaf surface stellae 0.05–0.7 mm apart, 0.2–0.7 mm diameter, stalks 0 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 6–8, porrect. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray 0–0.5 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 absent or present, 0–7 mm long. Inflorescence rachis prickles absent. Inflorescence 2–10-flowered, with one bisexual flower, the rest male or some bisexual and some male flowers or all flowers bisexual. Flowers 4–5-merous. Pedicels at anthesis 6–13 mm long, same thickness throughout, 0.2–0.4 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent. Calyx tube at anthesis 1–2 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis deltate or rostrate, 0.7–1.5 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis absent. Calyx stellae moderate to very dense, yellow, 0.3–0.5 mm across, stalks 0 mm long, lateral rays 7–8. Calyx stellae central ray 0.5–1 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Calyx simple hairs absent, Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla white or mauve, 6–12 mm long, deeply lobed, inner surface glabrous. Anthers 3.5–5.5 mm long. Ovary glabrous or with stellate and Type 2 hairs. Functional style 4.5–6.5 mm long, protruding between anthers, glabrous or with stellate and Type 2 hairs. Functional style stellae c. 0.4 mm across, lateral rays 7–8, 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 1–4 per inflorescence, globular, 6–9 mm diameter, red, glabrous or with a few scattered Type 2 hairs, 1-locular (septum absent or incomplete). Mature fruits placenta not apparent. Mature fruits interior juicy, succulent, pericarp 0.1 mm thick. Pedicels at fruiting stage 13–16 mm long, 0.5–0.6 mm thick at mid-point. Seeds pale yellow, 3–3.6 mm long.

Distribution and habitat. Queensland, New South Wales. Qld: Darling Downs, Maranoa, Leichhardt, Warrego, Mitchell, Gregory North, Kennedy South, Burke. NSW: North-west Slopes, Central-west Slopes, North Western Plains, South Western Plains, North Far Western Plains, South Far Western Plains. Shrubby eucalypt woodland, remote from rainforest, lancewood communities (dominated by Acacia catenulata, shirleyi, burrowii, etc.), red earths in mulga (Acacia aneura) dominated communities, shrublands in arid zone.

Miscellaneous. Subg. Leptostemonum. Data source: specimens.

Illustrations. • flowers. • leaves and flowers. • grazed 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’.

Contents