Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia

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A. R. Bean

Solanum mitchellianum

Habit. Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.5–1.8 m high.

Branchlets. Branchlets terete or ridged, grey or brown or green. Branchlet prickles 240–1400 per decimetre, straight, acicular, 1–10 mm long, 14–20 times longer than wide, glabrous. Branchlet hairs Type 2 or stellate. Branchlet stellae dense, 0.4–0.7 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.15 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 6–8, porrect. Branchlet stellae central ray 0.5–1 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped, thready. Branchlet Type 2 hairs sparse.

Leaves. Leaves elliptical or ovate, entire or shallowly lobed throughout. Leaf lobes 0 on each side or 3–4 on each side, acute or obtuse, lobing index 1–1.9. Leaves 5.5–10.5 cm long, 1.8–6.5 cm wide, 1.5–3 times longer than broad. Leaf apex acute, base obtuse or cordate. Leaf oblique part 0–3.5 mm long, obliqueness index 0–5 percent. Petioles 1.1–2.8 cm long, 18–30% length of lamina, prickles present.

Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface green. Upper leaf surface prickles present on midvein and lateral veins, 8–20, straight, acicular, 1–8 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs distributed throughout, protostellae absent, hair density very sparse to sparse. Upper leaf surface stellae 1–3 mm apart, 0.25–0.7 mm across, stalks 0–0.1 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 4–8, porrect. Upper leaf surface stellae central ray 0.8–1.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Upper leaf surface simple hairs absent. Upper leaf surface Type 2 hairs present only in vein depressions.

Lower leaf surface. Lower leaf surface white, grey. Lower leaf surface prickles present on midvein only or present on midvein and lateral veins, 2–10, straight, acicular. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density very dense. Lower leaf surface stellae c. 0.05 mm apart, 0.5–0.8 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.3 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 7–9, porrect. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray 1–1.5 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) or branched (paniculate to corymbose). Inflorescence common peduncle 21–40 mm long. Inflorescence rachis prickles present. Inflorescence 7–25-flowered, with all flowers bisexual. Flowers 5-merous. Pedicels at anthesis 3–6 mm long, same thickness throughout or markedly thicker distally, 0.3–0.6 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent or present. Calyx tube at anthesis 0.5–1.5 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis hemispherical or deltate or attenuate, 2–3.5 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis absent. Calyx stellae moderate to dense, transparent, 0.25–0.5 mm across, stalks 0 mm long, lateral rays 5–8. Calyx stellae central ray 0.8–1.2 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Calyx simple hairs absent, Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla purple, 7–10 mm long, deeply lobed, inner surface glabrous. Anthers 3.5–5.5 mm long. Ovary glabrous or with stellate hairs only. Functional style 6.5–8.5 mm long, protruding between anthers, glabrous or with stellate hairs only. Functional style stellae c. 0.4 mm across, lateral rays c. 8, central ray c. 1 times as long as laterals.

Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles absent. Mature fruits 7–17 per inflorescence, globular, 8–10 mm diameter, black, 1-locular (septum absent or incomplete). Mature fruits placenta not apparent. Mature fruits interior juicy, succulent, pericarp 0.1–0.2 mm thick. Pedicels at fruiting stage 8–10 mm long, 0.8–0.9 mm thick at mid-point. Seeds black, 1.8–2.4 mm long.

Distribution and habitat. Queensland, New South Wales. Qld: Darling Downs, Burnett, Maranoa, Leichhardt, Warrego, Port Curtis. NSW: North-west Slopes. Semi-evergreen vine thicket or brigalow/belah, shrubby eucalypt woodland, remote from rainforest.

Miscellaneous. Subg. Leptostemonum. Data source: specimens.

Illustrations. • flowering plant. • inflorescence. • young vigorous 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’.

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