Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia

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A. R. Bean

Solanum latens

Habit. Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.4–1.1 m high.

Branchlets. Branchlets grey or brown or green. Branchlet prickles 15–30 per decimetre, straight, acicular, 5–9 mm long, 13–18 times longer than wide, glabrous. Branchlet hairs Type 2 or stellate. Branchlet stellae sparse to moderate, 0.25–0.5 mm diameter, stalks 0 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 4–7, porrect. Branchlet stellae central ray 0.5–1 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Branchlet Type 2 hairs sparse.

Leaves. Leaves narrow lanceolate or lanceolate, entire or shallowly lobed throughout or with basal lobes only. Leaf lobes 0–2 on each side, obtuse, lobing index 1–1.2. Leaves 1.5–4.5 cm long, 0.3–0.8 cm wide, 4.5–7.5 times longer than broad. Leaf apex obtuse or acute, base cuneate or hastate. Leaf oblique part 0–2.5 mm long, obliqueness index 0–6 percent. Petioles 0.3–0.6 cm long, 8–16% length of lamina, prickles absent.

Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface green. Upper leaf surface prickles present on midvein only, 2–6, straight, acicular, 4–6 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 0.8–2.5 mm apart, 0.35–0.5 mm across, stalks 0 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 4–7, porrect. Upper leaf surface stellae central ray 1.5–3 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 absent or present on midvein only, 0–3, straight, acicular. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density very sparse to moderate. Lower leaf surface stellae 0.3–2 mm apart, 0.3–0.7 mm diameter, stalks 0 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 6–8, porrect. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray 1.5–3 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 or present. Inflorescence 1–3-flowered, with all flowers bisexual. Flowers 5-merous. Pedicels at anthesis 8–18 mm long, same thickness throughout, c. 0.3 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent or present. Calyx tube at anthesis 1.5–2 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis attenuate, 1.5–2.5 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis absent. Calyx stellae very sparse to sparse to moderate, transparent, 0.2–0.4 mm across, stalks 0 mm long, lateral rays 6–8. Calyx stellae central ray 0.8–1.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Calyx simple hairs absent, Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla mauve, 6–8 mm long, deeply lobed, inner surface glabrous. Anthers 3–4.5 mm long. Ovary with Type 2 hairs only. Functional style 4–6 mm long, protruding between anthers, with Type 2 hairs only.

Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles absent. Mature fruits 1 per inflorescence, globular, 4–6.5 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 0.2–0.3 mm thick. Pedicels at fruiting stage 14–24 mm long, 0.5–0.6 mm thick at mid-point. Seeds pale yellow, 1.6–2.3 mm long.

Distribution and habitat. Queensland. Qld: Darling Downs, Burnett, Leichhardt. Semi-evergreen vine thicket or brigalow/belah, lancewood communities (dominated by Acacia catenulata, shirleyi, burrowii, etc.).

Miscellaneous. Subg. Leptostemonum. Data source: specimens.

Illustrations. • leaves and fruits.


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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