Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia


A. R. Bean

Solanum gympiense

Habit. Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.2–0.5 m high. Large stems prickles absent.

Branchlets. Branchlets yellow or brown or green. Branchlet prickles absent. Branchlet hairs stellate. Branchlet stellae dense to very dense, 0.5–1 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.8 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 6–8, porrect or ascending. Branchlet stellae central ray 1–2 times as long as laterals, gland-tipped, thready.

Leaves. Leaves ovate or broadly ovate, entire or shallowly lobed throughout. Leaf lobes 0 on each side or 3–5 on each side, obtuse, lobing index 1–1.2. Leaves 4–10 cm long, 2.2–5.5 cm wide, 1.4–1.9 times longer than broad. Leaf apex obtuse or acute, base obtuse or cordate. Leaf oblique part 0–3 mm long, obliqueness index 0–4 percent. Petioles 0.8–2.3 cm long, 17–30% length of lamina, prickles 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 dense to very dense. Upper leaf surface stellae 0.2–0.3 mm apart, 0.5–0.9 mm across, stalks 0–0.15 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 5–10, porrect or ascending. Upper leaf surface stellae central ray 2–4 times as long as laterals, gland-tipped. Upper leaf surface simple hairs absent. Upper leaf surface Type 2 hairs absent.

Lower leaf surface. Lower leaf surface white, grey. Lower leaf surface prickles absent. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density dense to very dense. Lower leaf surface stellae 0.1–0.25 mm apart, 0.8–1.3 mm diameter, stalks 0.1–0.5 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 5–11, porrect or ascending. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray 0.8–2 times as long as laterals, 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 4–21 mm long. Inflorescence rachis prickles absent. Inflorescence 3–7-flowered, with some bisexual and some male flowers or all flowers bisexual. Flowers 4–5-merous. Pedicels at anthesis 7–12 mm long, same thickness throughout, 0.7–1.2 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent. Calyx tube at anthesis 1.5–3 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis elliptic, 2.5–9 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis absent. Calyx stellae very dense, transparent, 0.7–1 mm across, stalks 0–0.7 mm long, lateral rays 7–8. Calyx stellae central ray 1–3 times as long as laterals, gland-tipped. Calyx simple hairs absent, Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla mauve or purple, 11–15 mm long, deeply lobed, inner surface glabrous. Anthers 4.5–6 mm long. Ovary glabrous. Functional style 6–11 mm long, protruding between anthers, glabrous or with Type 2 hairs only or with stellate and Type 2 hairs. Functional style stellae c. 0.5 mm across, lateral rays c. 7, central ray c. 1.5 times as long as laterals.

Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes exceeding mature fruit, prickles absent. Mature fruits 1–4 per inflorescence, ellipsoidal or ovoid, 4.5–7 mm diameter, red, 1-locular (septum absent or incomplete). Mature fruits placenta not apparent. Mature fruits interior juicy, succulent, pericarp 0.2–0.3 mm thick. Pedicels at fruiting stage 7–15 mm long, 1.2–1.6 mm thick at mid-point. Seeds pale yellow, 2.6–3 mm long.

Distribution and habitat. Queensland. Qld: Wide Bay, Maranoa, Leichhardt, Port Curtis. Wet eucalypt forest with rainforest understorey, or rainforest margins, shrubby eucalypt woodland, remote from rainforest.

Miscellaneous. Subg. Leptostemonum. Data source: specimens.

Illustrations. • fruit. • flowering plant. • flowers. • colony of plants.

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