Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia
Habit. Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 1.5–3 m high.
Branchlets. Branchlets grey or yellow or brown or green. Branchlet prickles 600–1400 per decimetre, straight, acicular, 1–13 mm long, 15–20 times longer than wide, with scattered Type 2 hairs on lower half. Branchlet hairs Type 2 or stellate. Branchlet stellae sparse to moderate to dense, 0.5–0.8 mm diameter, stalks 0–1.5 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 4–8, porrect. Branchlet stellae central ray 0.5–1.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped, thready. Branchlet Type 2 hairs sparse.
Leaves. Leaves ovate or broadly ovate, deeply lobed throughout. Leaf lobes 3–4 on each side, acute or obtuse, lobing index 2–7. Leaves 7–17 cm long, 3.5–10 cm wide, 1.5–1.9 times longer than broad. Leaf apex acute, base obtuse or cordate. Leaf oblique part 1.5–8 mm long, obliqueness index 2–7 percent. Petioles 1.7–4.5 cm long, 20–40% length of lamina, prickles present.
Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface green. Upper leaf surface prickles present on midvein and lateral veins, 7–70, straight, acicular, 1–10 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs distributed throughout, protostellae present, hair density very sparse or sparse. Upper leaf surface stellae 0.4–0.8 mm apart, 0.15–0.4 mm across, stalks 0 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 4–6, ascending. Upper leaf surface stellae central ray 0.7–1.2 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Upper leaf surface simple hairs erect, straight, sparse, not gland-tipped, 0.1–0.15 mm long. Upper leaf surface Type 2 hairs absent.
Lower leaf surface. Lower leaf surface white, grey or yellowish. Lower leaf surface prickles present on midvein and lateral veins, 35–200, straight, acicular. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density dense to very dense. Lower leaf surface stellae 0.05–0.1 mm apart, 0.5–0.8 mm diameter, stalks 0–2.5 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 6–8, porrect. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray 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) or branched (paniculate to corymbose). Inflorescence common peduncle 7–30 mm long. Inflorescence rachis prickles present. Inflorescence 10–30-flowered, with all flowers bisexual. Flowers 5-merous. Pedicels at anthesis 3–10 mm long, same thickness throughout, 0.5–0.7 mm thick at mid-point, prickles present. Calyx tube at anthesis 1–2 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis deltate or attenuate, 1–3 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis absent or present, 0–25 per flower, 0.5–2 mm long. Calyx stellae dense, transparent, 0.6–0.8 mm across, stalks 0–1.2 mm long, lateral rays 5–7. Calyx stellae central ray 1–1.7 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Calyx simple hairs absent, Type 2 hairs present. Corolla purple, 10–12 mm long, deeply lobed, inner surface glabrous. Anthers 3.5–5.5 mm long. Ovary with Type 2 hairs only. Functional style 7–9 mm long, protruding between anthers, with Type 2 hairs only.
Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles 0.5–3 mm long. Mature fruits 4–9 per inflorescence, globular, 10–12 mm diameter, black, 1-locular (septum absent or incomplete). Mature fruits placenta not apparent. Mature fruits interior juicy, succulent, pericarp 0.1–0.2 mm thick. Pedicels at fruiting stage 8–14 mm long, 1.2–1.4 mm thick at mid-point. Seeds pale yellow, 2–2.8 mm long.
Distribution and habitat. Queensland, New South Wales. Qld: Moreton, Darling Downs. NSW: North Coast. Evergreen notophyll rainforest (no eucalypts), wet eucalypt forest with rainforest understorey, or rainforest margins.
Miscellaneous. Subg. Leptostemonum. Common name: Gin's Whiskers. Data source: specimens.
Illustrations. • fruiting inflorescence. • young stem (prickles). • branchlet with fruit. • fruiting branchlet. • flowers.
Cite this publication as: ‘Bean, A.R. 2012 onwards. Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia. Version: 29th June 2013. http://delta-intkey.com’.