Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia

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A. R. Bean

Solanum pusillum

Habit. Prostrate or sprawling, herbaceous resprouter, 0.1–0.3 m high.

Branchlets. Branchlets brown or green. Branchlet prickles 10–50 per decimetre, straight, acicular, 1–9 mm long, 10–16 times longer than wide, glabrous. Branchlet hairs Type 2 or stellate. Branchlet stellae sparse to moderate to dense, 0.8–1.2 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.1 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 4–7, porrect. Branchlet stellae central ray 0.8–1.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped, rigid. Branchlet Type 2 hairs absent or sparse.

Leaves. Leaves elliptical or ovate, deeply lobed throughout. Leaf lobes 2–4 on each side, acute or obtuse, lobing index 2.3–4. Leaves 3–5.5 cm long, 1.4–2.5 cm wide, 1.6–2.2 times longer than broad. Leaf apex obtuse or acute, base cuneate. Leaf oblique part 0–3 mm long, obliqueness index 0–7 percent. Petioles 0.8–1.8 cm long, 8–18% length of lamina, winged, prickles absent or present.

Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface green. Upper leaf surface prickles present on midvein and lateral veins, 10–50, straight, acicular, 2–8 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs distributed throughout, protostellae present, hair density absent from surface or very sparse or sparse. Upper leaf surface stellae 0.8–1.7 mm apart, 0.3–1.1 mm across, stalks 0 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 1–4, porrect or ascending. Upper leaf surface stellae central ray 1–4 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Upper leaf surface simple hairs erect, straight, sparse, not gland-tipped, 0.8–1.3 mm long. Upper leaf surface Type 2 hairs present throughout. Upper leaf surface Type 2 hairs 0.1–0.4 mm apart.

Lower leaf surface. Lower leaf surface green or yellowish. Lower leaf surface prickles present on midvein and lateral veins, 4–17, straight, acicular. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density sparse to moderate. Lower leaf surface stellae 0.2–1 mm apart, 0.7–1 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.1 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 4–7, porrect. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray 0.8–1.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Lower leaf surface simple hairs absent. Lower leaf surface Type 2 hairs present throughout, 0.05–0.2 mm apart.

Inflorescence. Inflorescence supra-axillary, solitary or sessile (rachis very short or absent). Inflorescence common peduncle absent. Inflorescence 1–3-flowered, with one bisexual flower, the rest male. Flowers 5-merous. Pedicels at anthesis 3–6 mm long, same thickness throughout or markedly thicker distally, 0.4–0.6 mm thick at mid-point, prickles present. Calyx tube at anthesis 1.5–2 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis deltate, 1.5–3 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis present, 20–35 per flower, 2.5–6 mm long. Calyx stellae very sparse to sparse to moderate, white, 0.7–1.1 mm across, stalks 0 mm long, lateral rays 4–8. Calyx stellae central ray 1–1.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Calyx simple hairs absent, Type 2 hairs present. Corolla white, 7–10 mm long, deeply lobed, inner surface glabrous. Anthers 3–4 mm long. Ovary with Type 2 hairs only. Functional style 4–4.5 mm long, protruding between anthers, with Type 2 hairs only.

Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes less than half length of mature fruit or lobes more than half length of mature fruit. Mature fruits 1 per inflorescence, globular, 15 mm diameter, green, often streaked, 2-locular. Mature fruits placenta sessile, semi-circular. Mature fruits interior moist but not juicy, pericarp 0.8–1.3 mm thick. Pedicels at fruiting stage 12–18 mm long, 0.9–1.5 mm thick at mid-point. Seeds pale yellow, 3.9 mm long.

Distribution and habitat. Queensland. Qld: Leichhardt. Lancewood communities (dominated by Acacia catenulata, shirleyi, burrowii, etc.).

Miscellaneous. Subg. Leptostemonum. Data source: specimens.

Illustrations. • leaf surface. • whole plant. • flower. • colony of plants. • type specimen.


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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