Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia
Habit. Prostrate, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.15–0.3 m high.
Branchlets. Branchlets rusty or brown. Branchlet prickles 3–80 per decimetre, straight, acicular or straight, broad-based, 1–5 mm long, 6–12 times longer than wide, glabrous. Branchlet hairs stellate. Branchlet stellae dense, 0.6–1.1 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.6 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 7–8, porrect. Branchlet stellae central ray 1–1.8 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped, thready. Branchlet Type 2 hairs absent.
Leaves. Leaves elliptical or ovate or broadly ovate, entire or shallowly lobed throughout. Leaf lobes obtuse, lobing index 1–1.1. Leaves 3–8 cm long, 1.7–4 cm wide, 1.6–3 times longer than broad. Leaf apex obtuse or acute, base cuneate or obtuse. Leaf oblique part 0–5 mm long, obliqueness index 0–12 percent. Petioles 2.4–5.5 cm long, 55–115% length of lamina, prickles absent or present.
Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface green or grey-green. Upper leaf surface prickles absent. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs distributed throughout, protostellae absent, hair density moderate density to dense. Upper leaf surface stellae 0.25–0.5 mm apart, 0.6–0.7 mm across, stalks 0–0.1 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 6–8, porrect. Upper leaf surface stellae central ray 1–1.8 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 yellowish. Lower leaf surface prickles absent. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density moderate or dense. Lower leaf surface stellae 0.1–0.3 mm apart, 0.6–0.8 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.2 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 7–8, porrect. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray 0.8–1.5 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 27–70 mm long. Inflorescence rachis prickles present. Inflorescence 3–4-flowered. Flowers 5-merous. Pedicels at anthesis 4–12 mm long, same thickness throughout or markedly thicker distally, 0.5–0.9 mm thick at mid-point, prickles present. Calyx tube at anthesis 2.5–3.5 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis deltate, 1–2.5 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis absent or present, 0 per flower or 20–100 per flower, 1–1.5 mm long. Calyx stellae very dense, yellow, 0.5–0.9 mm across, stalks 0–1.5 mm long, lateral rays 5–8. Calyx stellae central ray 1–1.8 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Calyx simple hairs absent, Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla purple, 8–14 mm long, rotate, inner surface glabrous. Anthers 3.5–5.5 mm long. Filaments 2.6–3.3 mm long. Ovary glabrous. Functional style 6–10 mm long, strongly bent near base, not touching anthers, glabrous.
Fruits. Fruiting calyx hypanthium accrescent, enclosing most or all of mature fruit, prickles 1–5 mm long. Mature fruits 1–2 per inflorescence, oblate or globular, 15–20 mm diameter, brown or green, often streaked, 2-locular or 4-locular. Mature fruits placenta stalked, anvil-shaped. Mature fruits interior moist but not juicy, pericarp 1.3–1.7 mm thick. Pedicels at fruiting stage 15–30 mm long, 0.9–1.2 mm thick at mid-point. Seeds brown, 2.3–2.8 mm long.
Distribution and habitat. Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia. Qld: Cook, Burke. Shrubby eucalypt woodland, remote from rainforest.
Miscellaneous. Subg. Leptostemonum. Data source: specimens.
Illustrations. • calyx hairs and prickles. • immature fruits. • plant.
Cite this publication as: ‘Bean, A.R. 2012 onwards. Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia. Version: 29th June 2013. http://delta-intkey.com’.