Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia

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A. R. Bean

Solanum sturtianum

Habit. Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.3–1.2 m high.

Branchlets. Branchlets white or grey. Branchlet prickles absent or present, 0–10 per decimetre, straight, broad-based, 2–8 mm long, 4–8 times longer than wide, glabrous or with scattered stellate hairs on lower half. Branchlet hairs stellate. Branchlet stellae very dense, 0.3–0.5 mm diameter, stalks 0 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 12–16, porrect. Branchlet stellae central ray absent. Branchlet Type 2 hairs absent.

Leaves. Leaves narrow lanceolate or lanceolate, entire. Leaves 3.7–9.8 cm long, 1–1.8 cm wide, 3.1–5.7 times longer than broad. Leaf apex obtuse or acute, base cuneate or obtuse or cordate. Leaf oblique part 0–5 mm long, obliqueness index 0–6 percent. Petioles 0.6–1.3 cm long, 15–27% length of lamina, prickles absent or present.

Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface grey-green or grey. Upper leaf surface prickles absent. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs distributed throughout, hair density moderate density or dense or very dense. Upper leaf surface stellae 0.1–0.2 mm apart, 0.15–0.3 mm across, stalks 0 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 12–15, porrect. Upper leaf surface stellae central ray 0 times as long as laterals. Upper leaf surface simple hairs absent. Upper leaf surface Type 2 hairs absent.

Lower leaf surface. Lower leaf surface white, grey or silvery. Lower leaf surface prickles absent. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density very dense. Lower leaf surface stellae 0.03–0.07 mm apart, 0.2–0.3 mm diameter, stalks 0 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 12–16, porrect. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray 0 times as long as laterals. Lower leaf surface simple hairs absent. Lower leaf surface Type 2 hairs absent.

Inflorescence. Inflorescence supra-axillary, cymose (pseudo-racemose). Inflorescence common peduncle 2–6 mm long. Inflorescence rachis prickles absent. Inflorescence 5–10-flowered, with some bisexual and some male flowers. Flowers 5-merous. Pedicels at anthesis 4–9 mm long, same thickness throughout, 0.5–0.8 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent. Calyx tube at anthesis 1.5–3.5 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis hemispherical or deltate, 1.5–2.5 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis absent. Calyx stellae very dense, yellow or white, 0.15–0.25 mm across, stalks 0 mm long, lateral rays 12–15. Calyx stellae central ray 0 times as long as laterals. Calyx simple hairs absent, Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla mauve or purple, 10–15 mm long, rotate or shallowly lobed, inner surface with simple hairs. Anthers 4.5–6.5 mm long. Filaments 1.5–1.9 mm long. Ovary with Type 2 hairs only. Functional style 7–10 mm long, protruding between anthers, with Type 2 hairs only.

Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles absent. Mature fruits 1–3 per inflorescence, globular, 9–12 mm diameter, black, 1-locular (septum absent or incomplete). Mature fruits interior dry, pericarp 0.1–0.3 mm thick. Pedicels at fruiting stage 7–12 mm long, 0.8–1 mm thick at mid-point. Seeds brown or black, 3.8–5.1 mm long.

Distribution and habitat. Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Northern Territory. Qld: Warrego, Gregory South. NSW: North Far Western Plains, South Far Western Plains. Red earths in mulga (Acacia aneura) dominated communities, shrublands in arid zone.

Miscellaneous. Subg. Leptostemonum. Common name: Thargomindah Nightshade. Data source: specimens.

Illustrations. • leaf underside. • 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’.

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