Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia
Habit. Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.4–1 m high.
Branchlets. Branchlets terete or ridged, white or grey or yellow or rusty or brown. Branchlet prickles 35–400 per decimetre, straight, acicular, 1–9 mm long, 7–11 times longer than wide, with dense stellate hairs on lower part. Branchlet hairs stellate. Branchlet stellae very dense, 0.8–1.3 mm diameter, stalks 0–1.2 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 7–8, porrect or ascending. Branchlet stellae central ray 1–1.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped, thready.
Leaves. Leaves lanceolate or elliptical or ovate, shallowly lobed throughout or deeply lobed throughout. Leaf lobes 2–4 on each side, obtuse, lobing index 1.2–5. Leaves 4–9.5 cm long, 1.4–3.7 cm wide, 1.6–3.5 times longer than broad. Leaf apex obtuse or acute, base cuneate or obtuse. Leaf oblique part 0–5 mm long, obliqueness index 0–8 percent. Petioles 0.8–2.1 cm long, 20–30% length of lamina, prickles present.
Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface grey-green or grey. Upper leaf surface prickles absent or present on midvein only or present on midvein and lateral veins, 0–8, straight, acicular or straight, broad-based, 3–10 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs distributed throughout, hair density dense to very dense. Upper leaf surface stellae 0.15–0.3 mm apart, 0.7–1 mm across, stalks 0–0.2 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 6–9, porrect or ascending. Upper leaf surface stellae central ray 1–2.5 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 absent or present on midvein only or present on midvein and lateral veins, 0–5, straight, acicular or straight, broad-based. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density dense to very dense. Lower leaf surface stellae 0.1–0.2 mm apart, 0.8–1.2 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.5 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 6–8, porrect. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray 1–1.8 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 absent or present, 0–3 mm long. Inflorescence rachis prickles present. Inflorescence 7–11-flowered, with one bisexual flower, the rest male. Flowers 5-merous, markedly dimorphic, with larger pricklier basal flower(s). Pedicels at anthesis 5–23 mm long, same thickness throughout, 0.7–1.3 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent or present. Calyx prickles on basal bisexual flowers 40–125, 2–6 mm long. Calyx prickles on distal male flowers 0–15, 1–5 mm long. Calyx tube at anthesis 3–5 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis attenuate, 6.5–11 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis absent or present. Calyx stellae very dense, white or transparent, 0.7–0.9 mm across, stalks 0–1.5 mm long, lateral rays 7–8. Calyx stellae central ray 1–1.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Calyx simple hairs absent, Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla purple, 10–20 mm long, rotate, inner surface glabrous. Anthers 5.8–7.5 mm long. Filaments 2–2.7 mm long, filament attachment dorsal. Ovary glabrous. Functional style 10–12.5 mm long, erect near base, then bent, displacing one anther, glabrous.
Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes less than half length of mature fruit or lobes more than half length of mature fruit, prickles 2–6 mm long, lobes not recurved or strongly recurved. Mature fruits 1 per inflorescence, globular or ellipsoidal or ovoid, 21–30 mm diameter, yellow or yellowish-green, 2-locular. Mature fruits placenta stalked, anvil-shaped. Mature fruits interior juicy, succulent, pericarp 2–2.5 mm thick, fruit attachment firmly attached, leaving beaked appendage on calyx. Pedicels at fruiting stage 23–48 mm long, 1.3–2.2 mm thick at mid-point. Seeds black, 3.2–4 mm long.
Distribution and habitat. Queensland, Northern Territory. Qld: Gregory North, Burke. Shrubby eucalypt woodland, remote from rainforest, shrublands in arid zone.
Miscellaneous. Subg. Leptostemonum. Data source: specimens.
Illustrations. • plant. • small colony. • leaves and flowers. • 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’.