Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia

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A. R. Bean

Solanum shirleyanum

Habit. Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.6–1.8 m high.

Branchlets. Branchlets yellow or brown. Branchlet prickles absent or present, 0–6 per decimetre, straight, acicular or straight, broad-based, 2–5 mm long, 6–12 times longer than wide, glabrous. Branchlet hairs stellate. Branchlet stellae dense to very dense, 0.25–0.4 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.1 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 6–8, porrect. Branchlet stellae central ray 0.5–3 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped, thready.

Leaves. Leaves elliptical or ovate, entire. Leaves 4–11 cm long, 1.5–4 cm wide, 2–3 times longer than broad. Leaf apex obtuse or acute or acuminate, base cuneate. Leaf oblique part 0–3.5 mm long, obliqueness index 0–3 percent. Petioles 0.25–1.3 cm long, 5–12% length of lamina, prickles absent.

Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface green. Upper leaf surface prickles absent or present on midvein only, 0–5, straight, acicular, 4–6 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs confined to midrib or distributed throughout, hair density absent from surface or very sparse. Upper leaf surface stellae 0.8–4 mm apart, 0.3–0.4 mm across, stalks 0 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 6–8, porrect. Upper leaf surface stellae central ray 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 green or greenish-white. Lower leaf surface prickles absent. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density dense. Lower leaf surface stellae 0.1–0.3 mm apart, 0.3–0.5 mm diameter, stalks 0 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 7–8, porrect. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray 1–4 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, sessile (rachis very short or absent). Inflorescence common peduncle absent. Inflorescence 2–9-flowered, with all flowers bisexual. Flowers 5-merous. Pedicels at anthesis 7–17 mm long, same thickness throughout, 0.2–0.3 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent. Calyx tube at anthesis 2–3 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis elliptic, 0.3–1 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis absent. Calyx stellae very sparse to sparse to moderate, transparent, 0.15–0.25 mm across, stalks 0 mm long, lateral rays 5–7. Calyx stellae central ray 1–1.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Calyx simple hairs absent, Type 2 hairs absent or present. Corolla white or mauve, 7–9 mm long, deeply lobed, inner surface glabrous. Anthers 3.5–4.5 mm long. Ovary with Type 2 hairs only. Functional style 5.5–7 mm long, protruding between anthers, glabrous.

Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles absent. Mature fruits 1–2 per inflorescence, globular, 3.5–6 mm diameter, red, glabrous or with a few scattered Type 2 hairs, 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 13–21 mm long, 0.4–0.7 mm thick at mid-point. Seeds pale yellow, 2.6–3 mm long.

Distribution and habitat. Queensland, New South Wales. Qld: Moreton, Wide Bay. NSW: North Coast. Wet eucalypt forest with rainforest understorey, or rainforest margins.

Miscellaneous. Subg. Leptostemonum. Data source: specimens.

Illustrations. • mature fruit. • branchlets. • flowers and mature fruit.


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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