Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia


A. R. Bean

Solanum lythrocarpum

Habit. Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.3–0.9 m high.

Branchlets. Branchlets brown or green. Branchlet prickles absent or present, 0–6 per decimetre, straight, acicular, 0.5–5 mm long, 7–10 times longer than wide, glabrous. Branchlet hairs Type 2 or stellate or absent. Branchlet stellae absent or sparse to moderate, 0.2–0.3 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.1 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 4–8, porrect. Branchlet stellae central ray 0.5–1.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped, thready. Branchlet Type 2 hairs sparse or dense.

Leaves. Leaves narrow lanceolate or lanceolate, entire. Leaves 5–9.5 cm long, 1.1–1.5 cm wide, 4.7–7 times longer than broad. Leaf apex acute, base cuneate. Leaf oblique part 0–2.5 mm long, obliqueness index 0–3 percent. Petioles 0.9–2.1 cm long, 11–23% length of lamina, prickles absent or present.

Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface green. Upper leaf surface prickles absent or present on midvein only, 0–4, straight, acicular, 3–7 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs absent or confined to midrib, hair density absent from surface. Upper leaf surface simple hairs absent. Upper leaf surface Type 2 hairs present throughout. Upper leaf surface Type 2 hairs 0.1–0.5 mm apart.

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 absent. Lower leaf surface simple hairs absent. Lower leaf surface Type 2 hairs absent.

Inflorescence. Inflorescence leaf-opposed, cymose (pseudo-racemose). Inflorescence common peduncle absent or present, 0–7 mm long. Inflorescence rachis prickles absent. Inflorescence 3–8-flowered, with all flowers bisexual. Flowers 4–5-merous. Pedicels at anthesis 9–24 mm long, same thickness throughout or markedly thicker distally, 0.4–0.7 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent. Calyx tube at anthesis 1.5–2.5 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis attenuate, 2–6 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis absent. Calyx stellae absent to very sparse to sparse, white, 0.15–0.3 mm across, stalks 0 mm long, lateral rays 4–8. Calyx stellae central ray 0–1 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Calyx simple hairs absent, Type 2 hairs present. Corolla purple, 7–11 mm long, shallowly lobed or deeply lobed, inner surface glabrous. Anthers 3–5 mm long. Ovary glabrous or with Type 2 hairs only. Functional style 5.5–7 mm long, protruding between anthers, glabrous.

Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles absent. Mature fruits 1–4 per inflorescence, globular, 8–11 mm diameter, red, 1-locular (septum absent or incomplete). Mature fruits placenta not apparent. Mature fruits interior juicy, succulent, pericarp 0.4–0.5 mm thick. Pedicels at fruiting stage 18–24 mm long, 0.6–0.8 mm thick at mid-point. Seeds pale yellow, 3–3.7 mm long.

Distribution and habitat. Queensland. Qld: Burnett. Lancewood communities (dominated by Acacia catenulata, shirleyi, burrowii, etc.).

Miscellaneous. Subg. Leptostemonum. Data source: specimens.

Illustrations. • flowers.

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