Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia
Habit. Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.5–1 m high. Large stems bark corky on trunk.
Branchlets. Branchlets terete or ridged, white or yellow. Branchlet prickles 130–500 per decimetre, straight, acicular, 2.5–8 mm long, 13–20 times longer than wide, glabrous or with scattered stellate hairs on lower half. Branchlet hairs stellate. Branchlet stellae very dense, 0.7–1.2 mm diameter, stalks 0–1 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 7–8, porrect or ascending. Branchlet stellae central ray 0.6–1.2 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped, thready. Branchlet Type 2 hairs absent.
Leaves. Leaves elliptical or ovate, entire. Leaves 7.8–16 cm long, 2.4–7 cm wide, 2.2–3.2 times longer than broad. Leaf apex acute, base cuneate. Leaf oblique part 0–9 mm long, obliqueness index 0–11 percent. Petioles 1.5–3.5 cm long, 17–27% length of lamina, prickles present.
Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface grey-green. Upper leaf surface prickles present on midvein only, 3–7, straight, acicular, 2–4 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs distributed throughout, protostellae absent, hair density dense or very dense. Upper leaf surface stellae 0.1–0.25 mm apart, 0.5–1.1 mm across, stalks 0–0.7 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 7–9, porrect or ascending. Upper leaf surface stellae central ray 0.8–1.2 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 greenish-white or white, grey. Lower leaf surface prickles present on midvein only, 2–10, straight, acicular. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density dense or very dense. Lower leaf surface stellae 0.15–0.25 mm apart, 0.9–1.3 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.5 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 7–8, porrect or ascending. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray 0.7–1.3 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Lower leaf surface simple hairs absent. Lower leaf surface Type 2 hairs absent.
Inflorescence. Inflorescence supra-axillary, cymose (pseudo-racemose). Inflorescence common peduncle 4–26 mm long. Inflorescence rachis prickles present. Inflorescence 12–20-flowered, with one bisexual flower, the rest male. Flowers 5-merous, markedly dimorphic, with larger pricklier basal flower(s). Pedicels at anthesis 3–25 mm long, same thickness throughout, prickles absent or present. Calyx prickles on basal bisexual flowers 70–130, 3–7 mm long. Calyx prickles on distal male flowers 0–10, 2–6 mm long. Calyx tube at anthesis 2.5–7 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis deltate or attenuate, 9–19 mm long. Calyx stellae very dense, transparent or purple, 0.7–0.9 mm across, stalks 0–0.8 mm long, lateral rays 7–8. 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, 13–23 mm long, rotate, inner surface glabrous. Anthers 5.9–7 mm long. Filaments 0.6–1.5 mm long, filament attachment basal. Ovary glabrous. Functional style 15–16 mm long, protruding between anthers, glabrous.
Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes more than half length of mature fruit. Mature fruits 1 per inflorescence, globular, yellow or yellowish-green. Fruit attachment firmly attached, leaving beaked appendage on calyx. Pedicels at fruiting stage 23–28 mm long, 1.7–2.5 mm thick at mid-point. Seeds black, 3.3–4.6 mm long.
Distribution and habitat. Western Australia. Shrublands in arid zone.
Miscellaneous. Subg. Leptostemonum. Data source: specimens.
Illustrations. • immature fruit. • flowers. • bisexual flower. • bush. • bush.
Cite this publication as: ‘Bean, A.R. 2012 onwards. Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia. Version: 29th June 2013. http://delta-intkey.com’.