Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia

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A. R. Bean

Solanum sulphureum

Habit. Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.9–2.5 m high.

Branchlets. Branchlets yellow or rusty or brown. Branchlet prickles 2–15 per decimetre, straight, acicular, 5–11 mm long, 8–14 times longer than wide, glabrous. Branchlet hairs Type 2 or stellate. Branchlet stellae dense or very dense, 0.6–1 mm diameter, stalks 0.2–1.2 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 7–8, porrect or ascending. Branchlet stellae central ray 0.7–1 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped, thready. Branchlet Type 2 hairs dense.

Leaves. Leaves ovate, entire. Leaves 6.5–12.3 cm long, 2.3–5.8 cm wide, 2.1–2.8 times longer than broad. Leaf apex acute, base obtuse or cordate. Leaf oblique part 0–4 mm long, obliqueness index 0–5 percent. Petioles 0.8–3.1 cm long, 12–27% length of lamina, prickles absent or present.

Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface green. Upper leaf surface prickles absent or present on midvein only or present on midvein and lateral veins, 0–7, straight, acicular, 8–12 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs distributed throughout, protostellae present, hair density sparse or moderate density. Upper leaf surface stellae 0.2–0.6 mm apart, 0.4–0.7 mm across, stalks 0.1–0.8 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 4–8, porrect or ascending. Upper leaf surface stellae central ray 0.8–1.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Upper leaf surface simple hairs absent. Upper leaf surface Type 2 hairs present throughout. Upper leaf surface Type 2 hairs 0.05–0.1 mm apart.

Lower leaf surface. Lower leaf surface greenish-white or white, grey. Lower leaf surface prickles absent or present on midvein only, 0–3, straight, acicular. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density dense or very dense. Lower leaf surface stellae 0.1–0.25 mm apart, 0.6–1.2 mm diameter, stalks 0.2–1.2 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 7–8, porrect. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray 0.7–1.3 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped. Lower leaf surface simple hairs absent. Lower leaf surface Type 2 hairs present throughout, 0.05–0.2 mm apart.

Inflorescence. Inflorescence supra-axillary, cymose (pseudo-racemose). Inflorescence common peduncle absent or present, 0–7 mm long. Inflorescence rachis prickles absent or present. Inflorescence 7–11-flowered, with some bisexual and some male flowers. Flowers 5-merous. Pedicels at anthesis 10–13 mm long, same thickness throughout, 0.9 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent or present. Calyx tube at anthesis 3–4 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis deltate, 2.5–4 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis absent or present, 0–5 per flower. Calyx stellae very dense, yellow or brown or rusty, 0.6–0.7 mm across, stalks 0.1–0.5 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. Corolla purple, 14 mm long, shallowly lobed, inner surface glabrous. Anthers 4–4.3 mm long. Ovary with Type 2 hairs only. Functional style 8 mm long, protruding between anthers, with Type 2 hairs only.

Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles absent or present, prickles 7 mm long. Mature fruits 1–4 per inflorescence, globular, 14–19 mm diameter, yellow or yellowish-green, 1-locular (septum absent or incomplete). Mature fruits placenta stalked, anvil-shaped. Mature fruits interior juicy, succulent, pericarp 0.7–1.1 mm thick. Pedicels at fruiting stage 19–22 mm long, 1.1–1.5 mm thick at mid-point. Seeds pale yellow, 2.2–2.5 mm long.

Distribution and habitat. New South Wales. NSW: North Coast. Evergreen notophyll rainforest (no eucalypts), wet eucalypt forest with rainforest understorey, or rainforest margins.

Miscellaneous. Subg. Leptostemonum. Data source: specimens.


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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