Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia


A. R. Bean

Solanum torvum

Habit. Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.8–2.5 m high.

Branchlets. Branchlets brown or green. Branchlet prickles absent or present, 0–5 per decimetre, straight, broad-based or curved, broad-based, 3–7 mm long, 1.5–2 times longer than wide, with scattered stellate hairs on lower half. Branchlet hairs stellate. Branchlet stellae dense, 0.6–1 mm diameter, stalks 0.1–0.4 mm long. Branchlet stellae lateral rays 6–9, porrect. Branchlet stellae central ray 0.1–0.3 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped, thready.

Leaves. Leaves broadly ovate or orbicular, entire or shallowly lobed throughout. Leaf lobes 0 on each side or 2–3 on each side, acute or obtuse, lobing index 1–1.3. Leaves 7.5–16.5 cm long, 4–13 cm wide, 1.1–1.5 times longer than broad. Leaf apex acute, base obtuse or cordate. Leaf oblique part 0–4 mm long, obliqueness index 0–5 percent. Petioles 0.9–4.3 cm long, 15–26% length of lamina, prickles absent.

Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface green. Upper leaf surface prickles absent. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs distributed throughout, protostellae present, hair density sparse to dense. Upper leaf surface stellae 0.25–0.5 mm apart, 0.3–0.5 mm across, stalks 0 mm long. Upper leaf surface stellae lateral rays 5–8, porrect. Upper leaf surface stellae central ray 0.8–2 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 0.2–0.5 mm apart.

Lower leaf surface. Lower leaf surface white, grey. Lower leaf surface prickles absent or present on midvein only, 0–3, straight, broad-based. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density dense. Lower leaf surface stellae 0.1–0.3 mm apart, 0.6–1 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.4 mm long. Lower leaf surface stellae lateral rays 8–9, porrect. Lower leaf surface stellae central ray 0.3–0.9 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, branched (paniculate to corymbose). Inflorescence common peduncle 2–17 mm long. Inflorescence rachis prickles absent. Inflorescence 15–50-flowered, with some bisexual and some male flowers. Flowers 5-merous. Pedicels at anthesis 6–10 mm long, same thickness throughout, 0.6–0.8 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent. Calyx tube at anthesis 1–1.5 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis deltate or rostrate, 1.5–4.5 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis absent. Calyx stellae very sparse to sparse to moderate, white, 0.2–0.5 mm across, stalks 0 mm long, lateral rays 6–8. Calyx stellae central ray 0.8–1.8 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped or gland-tipped. Calyx simple hairs present, Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla white, 9–12 mm long, deeply lobed, inner surface glabrous. Anthers 6–7.5 mm long. Ovary with Type 2 hairs only. Functional style 9–10.5 mm long, protruding between anthers, glabrous.

Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles absent. Mature fruits 2–15 per inflorescence, globular, 12–17 mm diameter, yellow or yellowish-green, 2-locular. Mature fruits placenta stalked, anvil-shaped. Mature fruits interior moist but not juicy, pericarp 0.5–0.7 mm thick. Pedicels at fruiting stage 14–19 mm long, 1.8–2.4 mm thick at mid-point. Seeds white or pale yellow, 2.1–2.5 mm long.

Distribution and habitat. Queensland. Qld: Moreton, Wide Bay, Cook, Leichhardt, Port Curtis, Kennedy South, Kennedy North, Burke. Wet eucalypt forest with rainforest understorey, or rainforest margins, shrubby eucalypt woodland, remote from rainforest.

Miscellaneous. Naturalised. Subg. Leptostemonum. Common name: Devil's Fig. Data source: specimens.

Illustrations. • fruiting shrub. • ripe fruits. • flowers. • flowers and fruits. • pedicel.

Cite this publication as: ‘Bean, A.R. 2012 onwards. Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia. Version: 29th June 2013.’.