Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia

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A. R. Bean

Solanum francisii

Habit. Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 2.5–4 m high. Large stems bark corky on trunk.

Branchlets. Branchlets ridged, brown or green. Branchlet prickles 10–140 per decimetre, straight, acicular or straight, broad-based, 4–10 mm long, 5–11 times longer than wide, glabrous. Branchlet hairs stellate. Branchlet stellae sparse to moderate, 0.15–0.25 mm diameter, stalks 0 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 5–7, porrect. Branchlet stellae central ray absent or present, 0–0.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped.

Leaves. Leaves elliptical or ovate, shallowly lobed throughout. Leaf lobes 3–5 on each side, acute, lobing index 1.1–1.4. Leaves 13–21 cm long, 6.5–10 cm wide, 1.9–2.4 times longer than broad. Leaf apex acute, base obtuse or cordate. Leaf oblique part 2–6 mm long, obliqueness index 1–3 percent. Petioles 1.6–3.5 cm long, 11–18% length of lamina, prickles absent or present.

Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface green. Upper leaf surface prickles present on midvein and lateral veins, 50–90, straight, acicular, 4–8 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs distributed throughout, protostellae absent, hair density very sparse to sparse. Upper leaf surface stellae 0.4–3 mm apart, 0.2–0.3 mm across, stalks 0 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 7–9, porrect. Upper leaf surface stellae central ray 0.2–0.7 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. Lower leaf surface prickles present on midvein and lateral veins, 5–20, straight, acicular. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density moderate. Lower leaf surface stellae 0.3–0.8 mm apart, 0.2–0.3 mm diameter, stalks 0 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 7–9, 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 1–22 mm long. Inflorescence rachis prickles absent. Inflorescence 9–14-flowered, with all flowers bisexual. Flowers 5(–6)-merous. Pedicels at anthesis 7–13 mm long, same thickness throughout, 0.5–0.7 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent or present. Calyx tube at anthesis 3.5–4.5 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis attenuate, 1.5–7 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis absent or present, 0–11 per flower, 3–6 mm long. Calyx stellae very sparse to sparse to moderate, transparent, 0.2–0.3 mm across, stalks 0 mm long, lateral rays 7–8. Calyx stellae central ray 0.3–1 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Calyx simple hairs absent, Type 2 hairs present. Corolla white or mauve, 12–17 mm long, shallowly lobed or deeply lobed, inner surface sparsely stellate-hairy. Anthers c. 5.8 mm long. Ovary with Type 2 hairs only. Functional style c. 10 mm long, protruding between anthers, with Type 2 hairs only.

Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles 4–8 mm long. Mature fruits 1–8 per inflorescence, globular, 14–22 mm diameter, yellowish-green or green, often streaked, 2-locular. Mature fruits placenta stalked, anvil-shaped. Mature fruits interior moist but not juicy, pericarp 1–1.4 mm thick. Pedicels at fruiting stage 16–23 mm long, 0.9–1.2 mm thick at mid-point. Seeds white or pale yellow, 2–2.3 mm long.

Distribution and habitat. Queensland. Qld: Kennedy South. Evergreen notophyll rainforest (no eucalypts).

Miscellaneous. Subg. Leptostemonum. Data source: specimens.

Illustrations. • branchlet. • type specimen.


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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