Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia

DELTA Home

A. R. Bean

Solanum lithophilum

Habit. Erect, herbaceous resprouter or rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.3–0.45 m high.

Branchlets. Branchlets grey or yellow or rusty or brown. Branchlet prickles 90–400 per decimetre, straight, acicular, 2–7 mm long, 13–18 times longer than wide, glabrous. Branchlet hairs stellate. Branchlet stellae very dense, stalks 0–2 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 8–13, porrect or multiradiate. Branchlet stellae central ray 1.1–2.2 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Branchlet Type 2 hairs absent.

Leaves. Leaves elliptical or ovate, entire. Leaves 3.6–10.1 cm long, 1.5–5.3 cm wide, 1.9–3.8 times longer than broad. Leaf apex acute, base cuneate or obtuse. Leaf oblique part 0–6 mm long, obliqueness index 0–7 percent. Petioles 1.3–6 cm long, 33–60% length of lamina, prickles present.

Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface grey-green or grey. Upper leaf surface prickles absent or present on midvein only, 0–2, straight, acicular, 3–7 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs distributed throughout, protostellae absent, hair density dense. Upper leaf surface stellae stalks 0–2 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 7–10, porrect or ascending. Upper leaf surface stellae central ray 1.2–2 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 white, grey. Lower leaf surface prickles absent or present on midvein only, 0–4, straight, acicular. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density very dense. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 8–15, porrect or multiradiate. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray 1.2–2 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, cymose (pseudo-racemose). Inflorescence common peduncle 20–52 mm long. Inflorescence rachis prickles present. Inflorescence 3–7-flowered, with all flowers bisexual. Flowers 5-merous. Pedicels at anthesis 7–16 mm long, same thickness throughout, prickles absent or present. Calyx tube at anthesis 3–4 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis attenuate, 5–11 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis present, 25–50 per flower, 2–4 mm long. Calyx stellae very dense, yellow or white or purple, lateral rays 8–13. Calyx stellae central ray 1–2 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Calyx simple hairs absent, Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla purple, 14–20 mm long, rotate, inner surface glabrous. Anthers 4.7–6 mm long. Filaments 1–1.2 mm long. Ovary glabrous. Functional style 9–13 mm long, strongly bent near base, not touching anthers, glabrous.

Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes less than half length of mature fruit or lobes more than half length of mature fruit, prickles 2.5–4 mm long. Mature fruits 1–2 per inflorescence, globular or ellipsoidal or ovoid, 18–21 mm diameter, green, often streaked or white, 2-locular. Mature fruits placenta stalked, anvil-shaped. Mature fruits interior juicy, succulent, pericarp 0.3–0.8 mm thick. Pedicels at fruiting stage 12–25 mm long. Seeds white or pale yellow, 2.8–3.2 mm long.

Distribution and habitat. Northern Territory. Red earths in mulga (Acacia aneura) dominated communities, shrublands in arid zone.

Miscellaneous. Subg. Leptostemonum. Data source: specimens.

Illustrations. • buds and flower. • flowering branch. • colony of plants.


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

Contents