Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia
Habit. Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.5–1.5 m high.
Branchlets. Branchlets grey or brown or green. Branchlet prickles 10–25 per decimetre, straight, broad-based, 3–7 mm long, 2–4 times longer than wide, with scattered stellate hairs on lower half. Branchlet hairs stellate. Branchlet stellae sparse to moderate, 0.25–0.4 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.2 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 7–8, porrect. Branchlet stellae central ray 0.1–1.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped, thready.
Leaves. Leaves ovate or broadly ovate, deeply lobed throughout. Leaf lobes 3–4 on each side, obtuse, lobing index 5–13. Leaves 5–12.5 cm long, 2.8–8 cm wide, 1.4–1.9 times longer than broad. Leaf apex obtuse, base cuneate or obtuse. Leaf oblique part 0–10 mm long, obliqueness index 0–8 percent. Petioles 0.6–2.7 cm long, 10–25% length of lamina, prickles present.
Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface green. Upper leaf surface prickles present on midvein and lateral veins, 9–25, straight, broad-based, 3–13 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs distributed throughout, protostellae absent, hair density very sparse. Upper leaf surface stellae 0.9–2 mm apart, 0.25–0.4 mm across, stalks 0 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 6–9, porrect. Upper leaf surface stellae central ray 0.7–2 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. Lower leaf surface prickles present on midvein and lateral veins, 8–20, straight, broad-based. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density sparse to moderate. Lower leaf surface stellae 0.5–1 mm apart, 0.4–1 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.1 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 6–8, porrect. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray 0.8–2 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, sessile (rachis very short or absent). Inflorescence common peduncle absent. Inflorescence 3–5-flowered, with one bisexual flower, the rest male or some bisexual and some male flowers. Flowers 5-merous, markedly dimorphic, with larger pricklier basal flower(s). Pedicels at anthesis 4–12 mm long, same thickness throughout, 0.6–0.9 mm thick at mid-point, prickles present. Calyx prickles on basal bisexual flowers 60–100, 0.5–5 mm long. Calyx prickles on distal male flowers 12–25, 0.5–3 mm long. Calyx tube at anthesis 3–5 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis elliptic or deltate, 2–5.5 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis present, 12–100 per flower, 0.5–5 mm long. Calyx stellae moderate to dense, white or transparent, 0.2–0.5 mm across, stalks 0 mm long, lateral rays 4–7. Calyx stellae central ray 0.5–1.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Calyx simple hairs absent, Type 2 hairs present. Corolla purple, 8–15 mm long, shallowly lobed or deeply lobed, inner surface sparsely stellate-hairy. Anthers 5–6 mm long. Ovary glabrous or with stellate hairs only. Functional style 7.5–9 mm long, protruding between anthers, with stellate hairs only. Functional style stellae 0.2–0.25 mm across, lateral rays 6–8, central ray 1.5–2 times as long as laterals.
Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles 1–5 mm long. Mature fruits 1–2 per inflorescence, globular, 23–30 mm diameter, yellow, 2-locular. Mature fruits placenta stalked, anvil-shaped. Mature fruits interior moist but not juicy, pericarp 1–2.5 mm thick. Pedicels at fruiting stage 17–21 mm long, 1.5–3 mm thick at mid-point. Seeds black, 2.9–3.5 mm long.
Distribution and habitat. Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia. Qld: Moreton, Wide Bay, Kennedy South. NSW: North Coast, Central Coast, South Coast, South Western Plains. Wet eucalypt forest with rainforest understorey, or rainforest margins, shrubby eucalypt woodland, remote from rainforest.
Miscellaneous. Naturalised. Subg. Leptostemonum. Common name: Apple of Sodom. Data source: specimens.
Illustrations. • immature fruits. • mature fruits. • flower.
Cite this publication as: ‘Bean, A.R. 2012 onwards. Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia. Version: 23rd June 2012. http://delta-intkey.com’.