Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia


A. R. Bean

Solanum mentiens

Habit. Prostrate, stoloniferous perennial shrub, 0.1 m high.

Branchlets. Branchlets yellow or brown. Branchlet prickles absent or present, 0–10 per decimetre, straight, acicular, 2–7 mm long, 8–10 times longer than wide, glabrous. Branchlet hairs stellate. Branchlet stellae dense to very dense, 0.15–0.2 mm diameter, stalks 0 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 6–8, porrect. Branchlet stellae central ray absent. Branchlet Type 2 hairs absent.

Leaves. Leaves elliptical or ovate, entire. Leaves 5–7.5 cm long, 2.7–4 cm wide, 1.5–2.2 times longer than broad. Leaf apex obtuse, base cuneate or obtuse. Leaf oblique part 0–3.5 mm long, obliqueness index 0–6 percent. Petioles 0.5–1.1 cm long, 7–20% length of lamina, prickles absent.

Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface green. Upper leaf surface prickles absent or present on midvein only, 0–3, straight, acicular, 2–5 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 absent.

Lower leaf surface. Lower leaf surface white, grey or yellowish. Lower leaf surface prickles absent. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density very dense. Lower leaf surface stellae c. 0.05 mm apart, 0.2–0.3 mm diameter, stalks 0 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 7–8, porrect. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray 0 times as long as laterals. Lower leaf surface simple hairs absent. Lower leaf surface Type 2 hairs absent.

Inflorescence. Inflorescence supra-axillary, solitary or cymose (pseudo-racemose). Inflorescence common peduncle absent or present, 0–3 mm long. Inflorescence rachis prickles absent. Inflorescence 1–6-flowered, with some bisexual and some male flowers. Flowers 5-merous. Pedicels at anthesis 6–18 mm long, same thickness throughout, 0.3–0.5 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent. Calyx tube at anthesis 2–4 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis elliptic or deltate, 1–3 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis absent. Calyx stellae moderate, transparent, 0.15–0.25 mm across, stalks 0 mm long, lateral rays 6–8. Calyx stellae central ray 0 times as long as laterals. Calyx simple hairs absent, Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla white, 7–12 mm long, shallowly lobed or deeply lobed, inner surface glabrous. Anthers 4.5–5.5 mm long. Ovary with Type 2 hairs only. Functional style 5.5–7 mm long, protruding between anthers, glabrous or with Type 2 hairs only.

Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles absent. Mature fruits 1–3 per inflorescence, globular, 10–12 mm diameter, red, 1-locular (septum absent or incomplete). Mature fruits placenta sessile, semi-circular or sessile, elliptical. Mature fruits interior moist but not juicy, pericarp 0.8–1 mm thick. Pedicels at fruiting stage 22–25 mm long, 0.8–1 mm thick at mid-point. Seeds pale yellow, 2.4–3.2 mm long.

Distribution and habitat. Queensland. Qld: Moreton. Evergreen notophyll rainforest (no eucalypts).

Miscellaneous. Subg. Leptostemonum. Data source: specimens.

Illustrations. • holotype.

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