Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia

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A. R. Bean

Solanum insanum

Habit. Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.5–1.5 m high.

Branchlets. Branchlets brown or green. Branchlet prickles 25–50 per decimetre, curved, broad-based, 3–7 mm long, 2–3 times longer than wide, with scattered stellate hairs on lower half. Branchlet hairs stellate. Branchlet stellae dense, 0.7–1 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.2 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 6–8, porrect. Branchlet stellae central ray 0.7–1.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped, thready.

Leaves. Leaves ovate or broadly ovate, shallowly lobed throughout. Leaf lobes 2–3 on each side, obtuse, lobing index 1.1–1.6. Leaves 3.5–8.5 cm long, 2.3–5 cm wide, 1.4–1.8 times longer than broad. Leaf apex obtuse or acute, base cuneate or obtuse. Leaf oblique part 0–2 mm long, obliqueness index 0–2 percent. Petioles 0.8–1.7 cm long, 20–30% length of lamina, prickles present.

Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface grey-green. Upper leaf surface prickles present on midvein only or present on midvein and lateral veins, 3–11, straight, broad-based, 5–10 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs distributed throughout, protostellae absent, hair density moderate density to dense. Upper leaf surface stellae 0.3–0.5 mm apart, 0.4–0.7 mm across, stalks 0 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 4–8, porrect. Upper leaf surface stellae central ray 0.8–1.2 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. Lower leaf surface prickles present on midvein only or present on midvein and lateral veins, 5–15, straight, broad-based. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density dense. Lower leaf surface stellae 0.1–0.2 mm apart, 0.5–0.7 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.2 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 7–8, porrect. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray 0.8–1.2 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, solitary or sessile (rachis very short or absent). Inflorescence common peduncle absent. Inflorescence 1–3-flowered, with one bisexual flower, the rest male. Flowers 5-merous, markedly dimorphic, with larger pricklier basal flower(s). Pedicels at anthesis 5–10 mm long, same thickness throughout, 0.4–1 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent or present. Calyx prickles on basal bisexual flowers 10–30, 2–7 mm long. Calyx prickles on distal male flowers 0. Calyx tube at anthesis 3–4 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis deltate or rostrate, 1.5–2.5 mm long. Calyx stellae very dense, yellow or white, 0.6–0.8 mm across, stalks 0–0.2 mm long, lateral rays 7–8. Calyx stellae central ray 0.8–1.2 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Calyx simple hairs absent, Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla purple, 9–12 mm long, rotate, inner surface sparsely stellate-hairy. Anthers 4.5–5 mm long. Ovary with stellate and Type 2 hairs. Functional style 6.5–7 mm long, protruding between anthers, with stellate and Type 2 hairs. Functional style stellae 0.6–0.7 mm across, lateral rays c. 9, central ray 0.5–1 times as long as laterals.

Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles 4–7 mm long. Mature fruits 1 per inflorescence, globular, 18–22 mm diameter, yellow, 2-locular. Mature fruits placenta stalked, anvil-shaped. Mature fruits interior moist but not juicy, pericarp 1 mm thick. Pedicels at fruiting stage 15–20 mm long, 0.8–1.2 mm thick at mid-point. Seeds pale yellow or black, 2–2.6 mm long.

Distribution and habitat. Queensland. Qld: Port Curtis.

Miscellaneous. Naturalised. Subg. Leptostemonum. Data source: specimens.


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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