Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia
Habit. Sprawling or erect, herbaceous resprouter or rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.2–0.5 m high.
Branchlets. Branchlets terete or ridged, yellow or rusty or brown. Branchlet prickles 240–700 per decimetre, straight, acicular, 2–8 mm long, 11–20 times longer than wide, glabrous or with dense stellate hairs on lower part. Branchlet hairs stellate. Branchlet stellae very dense, 0.5–1 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.8 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 7–8, porrect or ascending. Branchlet stellae central ray 0.8–1.2 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped, thready. Branchlet Type 2 hairs absent.
Leaves. Leaves ovate or broadly ovate, entire. Leaves 5.5–14.5 cm long, 2.5–7 cm wide, 1.7–2.3 times longer than broad. Leaf apex obtuse or acute, base cuneate or obtuse. Leaf oblique part 0–6 mm long, obliqueness index 0–5 percent. Petioles 0.8–4.8 cm long, 15–60% length of lamina, prickles present.
Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface grey. Upper leaf surface prickles absent or present on midvein only or present on midvein and lateral veins, 0–10, straight, acicular, 2–5 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs distributed throughout, hair density dense to very dense. Upper leaf surface stellae 0.05–0.2 mm apart, 0.6–1.2 mm across, stalks 0–1 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 7–8, 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 white, grey or yellowish. Lower leaf surface prickles present on midvein only or present on midvein and lateral veins, 3–20, straight, acicular. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density very dense. Lower leaf surface stellae 0.05–0.1 mm apart, 0.7–1.2 mm diameter, stalks 0–1.6 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 7–8, porrect or ascending. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray 0.8–1.2 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 23–60 mm long. Inflorescence rachis prickles absent. Inflorescence 9–15-flowered, with all flowers bisexual. Flowers 5-merous. Pedicels at anthesis 4–11 mm long, same thickness throughout, 1–1.2 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent. Calyx tube at anthesis 2–4 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis deltate or attenuate, 1.5–4.5 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis present, 5–40 per flower, 1–3 mm long. Calyx stellae very dense, yellow or white, 0.5–0.9 mm across, stalks 0–1.2 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 mauve or purple, 9–15 mm long, shallowly lobed or deeply lobed, inner surface glabrous or with simple hairs. Anthers 5.5–6.5 mm long. Ovary glabrous. Functional style 9–10.5 mm long, protruding between anthers, glabrous. Stigma unexpanded.
Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes less than half length of mature fruit or lobes more than half length of mature fruit, prickles 1–3 mm long. Mature fruits 1–7 per inflorescence, globular, 14–17 mm diameter, yellowish-green or green, often streaked, 4-locular. Pedicels at fruiting stage 11–17 mm long, 1.1–1.9 mm thick at mid-point. Seeds pale yellow, 2.3–2.9 mm long.
Distribution and habitat. Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia. Qld: Gregory North, Burke. Red earths in mulga (Acacia aneura) dominated communities, shrublands in arid zone.
Miscellaneous. Subg. Leptostemonum. Data source: specimens.
Illustrations. • flowering plant. • flowers. • flowering plant.
Cite this publication as: ‘Bean, A.R. 2012 onwards. Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia. Version: 29th June 2013. http://delta-intkey.com’.