Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia

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A. R. Bean

Solanum nobile

Habit. Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 1.5–4 m high.

Branchlets. Branchlets white or grey. Branchlet prickles 2–30 per decimetre, straight, acicular or straight, broad-based, 3–9 mm long, 6–10 times longer than wide, glabrous. Branchlet hairs stellate. Branchlet stellae dense, 0.2–0.3 mm diameter, stalks 0 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 6–7, porrect. Branchlet stellae central ray absent or present, 0–1 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Branchlet Type 2 hairs absent.

Leaves. Leaves ovate or broadly ovate, shallowly lobed throughout or deeply lobed throughout. Leaf lobes 2–4 on each side, acute, lobing index 1.7–4. Leaves 7–14 cm long, 3–5 cm wide, 1.4–2.7 times longer than broad. Leaf apex acute, base obtuse or cordate. Leaf oblique part 1–8 mm long, obliqueness index 1–6 percent. Petioles 1.3–3.5 cm long, 17–26% length of lamina, prickles absent or present.

Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface green. Upper leaf surface prickles absent or present on midvein only or present on midvein and lateral veins, 0–10, straight, acicular, 4–10 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs distributed throughout, protostellae present, hair density sparse. Upper leaf surface stellae 0.4–0.5 mm apart, 0.15–0.25 mm across, stalks 0 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 6–8, porrect. Upper leaf surface stellae central ray 0–0.5 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 white, grey or yellowish. Lower leaf surface prickles absent or present on midvein only, 0–2, straight, acicular. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density very dense. Lower leaf surface stellae c. 0.05 mm apart, 0.35–0.45 mm diameter, stalks 0 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 6–7, porrect. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray 0–0.5 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 absent or present, 0–6 mm long. Inflorescence rachis prickles absent or present. Inflorescence 4–9-flowered, with some bisexual and some male flowers. Flowers 5-merous. Pedicels at anthesis 10–17 mm long, markedly thicker distally, 0.7–1.2 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent or present. Calyx tube at anthesis 3–6 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis attenuate, 5–8 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis absent or present, 0–5 per flower, 2–5 mm long. Calyx stellae dense, transparent or purple, 0.4–0.7 mm across, stalks 0–0.3 mm long, lateral rays 6–8. Calyx stellae central ray 1–1.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Calyx simple hairs absent, Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla purple, 10–17 mm long, rotate, inner surface glabrous. Anthers 4–5.5 mm long. Ovary with Type 2 hairs only. Functional style 9–10 mm long, protruding between anthers, with Type 2 hairs only or with stellate and Type 2 hairs. Functional style stellae lateral rays 7–9.

Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles absent or present, prickles 4–7 mm long. Mature fruits 1–3 per inflorescence, globular, 18–24 mm diameter, yellowish-green or green, often streaked, 2-locular. Mature fruits placenta stalked, anvil-shaped. Mature fruits interior moist but not juicy, pericarp 0.8–1 mm thick. Pedicels at fruiting stage 15–24 mm long, 1.2–1.6 mm thick at mid-point. Seeds pale yellow, 2.5–2.8 mm long.

Distribution and habitat. Queensland, New South Wales. Qld: Darling Downs. NSW: North Coast. Evergreen notophyll rainforest (no eucalypts), wet eucalypt forest with rainforest understorey, or rainforest margins.

Miscellaneous. Subg. Leptostemonum. Data source: specimens.

Illustrations. • floral display. • leaves and flowers. • upper and lower leaf surfaces. • mature fruits.


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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