Solanum species of eastern and northern Australia


A. R. Bean

Solanum vescum

Habit. Erect, non-rhizomatous perennial shrub, 1–2 m high. Large stems prickles absent.

Branchlets. Branchlets ridged, brown or green. Branchlet prickles absent. Branchlet hairs absent. Branchlet stellae absent.

Leaves. Leaves narrow lanceolate or lanceolate or elliptical or ovate or broadly ovate, entire or shallowly lobed throughout or deeply lobed throughout. Leaf lobes 0 on each side or 2–4 on each side, acute, lobing index 1–20. Leaves 15–30 cm long, 2–15 cm wide. Leaf apex acute, base cuneate. Petioles 0.5–5 cm long, winged, prickles absent.

Upper leaf surface. Upper leaf surface green. Upper leaf surface prickles absent. Upper leaf surface stellate hairs absent, hair density absent from surface. Upper leaf surface simple hairs absent. Upper leaf surface Type 2 hairs absent.

Lower leaf surface. Lower leaf surface green. Lower leaf surface prickles absent. Lower leaf surface stellate hair density absent. Lower leaf surface simple hairs absent. Lower leaf surface Type 2 hairs absent.

Inflorescence. Inflorescence leaf-opposed, cymose (pseudo-racemose) or branched (paniculate to corymbose). Inflorescence common peduncle absent. Inflorescence rachis prickles absent. Inflorescence 5–20-flowered, with all flowers bisexual. Flowers 5-merous. Pedicels at anthesis 20–25 mm long, prickles absent. Calyx tube at anthesis 3–4 mm long. Calyx lobes at anthesis hemispherical or deltate, 1.5–2.5 mm long. Calyx prickles at anthesis absent. Calyx stellae absent. Calyx simple hairs absent, Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla purple, 15–25 mm long, rotate, inner surface glabrous. Anthers 3–4 mm long. Ovary glabrous. Functional style 7–10 mm long, protruding between anthers, glabrous.

Fruits. Fruiting calyx lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles absent. Mature fruits 5–20 per inflorescence, globular or ellipsoidal or ovoid, 20–25 mm diameter, yellowish-green or green, often streaked. Pedicels at fruiting stage 30–50 mm long. Seeds 2.5–3 mm long, stone-cell granules present.

Distribution and habitat. Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania. Qld: Moreton, Wide Bay, Burnett. NSW: Central Coast, South Coast, Northern Tablelands, Central Tablelands, Southern Tablelands, North-west Slopes, Central-west Slopes, North Western Plains. Evergreen notophyll rainforest (no eucalypts), wet eucalypt forest with rainforest understorey, or rainforest margins, shrubby eucalypt woodland, remote from rainforest.

Miscellaneous. Subg. Archaesolanum. Common name: Kangaroo Apple. Data source: Symon 1994.

Illustrations. • decurrent leaf bases. • fruits (probably mature).

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