Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia


A. R. Bean

Solanum mauritianum

Habit. Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub or non-rhizomatous perennial shrub, 1.5–4 m high. Large stems prickles absent.

Branchlets. Branchlets white or grey or yellow. Branchlet prickles absent. Branchlet hairs stellate. Branchlet stellae very dense, stalks 0–1.3 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 7–15, ascending or multiradiate. Branchlet stellae central ray not gland-tipped, thready. Branchlet Type 2 hairs absent.

Leaves. Leaves elliptical or ovate or broadly ovate, entire. Leaves 7.5–28 cm long, 3.5–11 cm wide, 2.1–3.3 times longer than broad. Leaf apex acute, base cuneate. Petioles 1.2–4.6 cm long, 13–20% length of lamina, prickles absent. Axillary leaves present.

Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface grey-green. Upper leaf surface prickles absent. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs distributed throughout, protostellae present, hair density sparse to dense. Upper leaf surface stellae stalks 0–0.1 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 4–8, ascending. Upper leaf surface stellae central ray not gland-tipped. Upper leaf surface simple hairs absent. Upper leaf surface Type 2 hairs absent.

Lower leaf surface. Lower leaf surface greenish-white or white, grey or yellowish. Lower leaf surface prickles absent. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density dense or very dense. Lower leaf surface stellae stalks 0–0.7 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 7–12, porrect or ascending. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray 0.8–1.3 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Lower leaf surface simple hairs absent. Lower leaf surface Type 2 hairs absent.

Inflorescence. Inflorescence terminal, branched (paniculate to corymbose). Inflorescence common peduncle 30–150 mm long. Inflorescence rachis prickles absent. Inflorescence 25–100-flowered, with all flowers bisexual. Flowers 5-merous. Pedicels at anthesis 20–30 mm long, prickles absent. Calyx lobes at anthesis elliptic or deltate, 2–3.5 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis absent. Calyx stellae dense or very dense, white. Calyx stellae central ray not gland-tipped. Calyx simple hairs absent, Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla purple, 7–13 mm long, deeply lobed, inner surface glabrous. Anthers 2.6 mm long. Ovary with stellate hairs only. Functional style protruding between anthers, with stellate hairs only.

Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles absent. Mature fruits 10–50 per inflorescence, globular, 10–15 mm diameter, yellow or yellowish-green, conspicuously stellate hairy. Pedicels at fruiting stage 2.5–5 mm long. Seeds pale yellow, 1.8–2.2 mm long.

Distribution and habitat. Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria. Qld: Moreton, Darling Downs, Wide Bay, Burnett, Cook, Kennedy South, Kennedy North. NSW: North Coast, Central Coast, South Coast, South-west Slopes. Wet eucalypt forest with rainforest understorey, or rainforest margins, shrubby eucalypt woodland, remote from rainforest.

Miscellaneous. Naturalised. Subg. Brevantherum. Common name: Wild Tobacco. Data source: Symon 1981, specimens.

Illustrations. • inflorescence. • leaves, stipules and inflorescence.

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