Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia
Habit. Prostrate or sprawling, herbaceous resprouter, 0.1–0.4 m high.
Branchlets. Branchlets white or grey or brown or green. Branchlet prickles 28–80 per decimetre, straight, acicular, 2–13 mm long, 10–14 times longer than wide, glabrous. Branchlet hairs stellate. Branchlet stellae absent or sparse to moderate, 0.25–0.3 mm diameter, stalks 0 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 5–8, porrect. Branchlet stellae central ray 0.2–0.7 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Branchlet Type 2 hairs absent.
Leaves. Leaves elliptical, shallowly lobed throughout or deeply lobed throughout. Leaf lobes 4–6 on each side, acute, lobing index 1.6–3.1. Leaves 3.8–9.4 cm long, 1.5–4.4 cm wide, 2.1–3.1 times longer than broad. Leaf apex acute, base cuneate or obtuse. Leaf oblique part 2–9 mm long, obliqueness index 4–16 percent. Petioles 0.6–1.9 cm long, 16–26% length of lamina, prickles present.
Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface green. Upper leaf surface prickles present on midvein and lateral veins, 22–82, straight, acicular, 1–11 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs absent or distributed throughout, protostellae absent, hair density absent from surface or very sparse. Upper leaf surface stellae 0.6–2.2 mm apart, 0.2–0.3 mm across, stalks 0 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 6–8, porrect. Upper leaf surface stellae central ray 0.5–1 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 green. Lower leaf surface prickles present on midvein and lateral veins, 28–80, straight, acicular. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density absent or very sparse. Lower leaf surface stellae 0.7–3 mm apart, 0.25–0.35 mm diameter, stalks 0 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 5–8, porrect. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray 0.4–1 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, solitary or sessile (rachis very short or absent) or cymose (pseudo-racemose). Inflorescence common peduncle absent or present, 0–6 mm long. Inflorescence rachis prickles absent or present. Inflorescence 1–3-flowered, with all flowers bisexual. Flowers 5-merous. Pedicels at anthesis 12–21 mm long, same thickness throughout, prickles present. Calyx tube at anthesis 2–2.5 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis deltate or attenuate, 2.5–3 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis present, 26–48 per flower, 3–8 mm long. Calyx stellae very sparse to sparse, white or transparent, 0.2–0.3 mm across, stalks 0 mm long, lateral rays 5–7. Calyx stellae central ray 0.5–0.8 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Calyx simple hairs absent, Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla purple, 10–14 mm long, rotate or shallowly lobed, inner surface glabrous. Anthers 2.5–3.1 mm long. Ovary with Type 2 hairs only. Functional style 5.8–7 mm long, strongly bent near base, not touching anthers, glabrous.
Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles 2–6 mm long. Mature fruits 1–2 per inflorescence, globular, 16–20 mm diameter, green, often streaked. Mature fruits interior moist but not juicy. Pedicels at fruiting stage 20–27 mm long, 1 mm thick at mid-point. Seeds pale yellow, 2.4–2.7 mm long.
Distribution and habitat. Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria. Qld: Darling Downs. NSW: North Coast, Central Coast, South Coast, Central Tablelands. Wet eucalypt forest with rainforest understorey, or rainforest margins, shrubby eucalypt woodland, remote from rainforest.
Miscellaneous. Subg. Leptostemonum. Data source: specimens.
Illustrations. • young fruit. • leaves.
Cite this publication as: ‘Bean, A.R. 2012 onwards. Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia. Version: 29th June 2013. http://delta-intkey.com’.