Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Lycianthes shanesii (F.Muell.) A.R.Bean

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Bean, A.R. (2003) Austrobaileya 6: 568.

Common name



A small tree not exceeding 30 cm dbh. Almost deciduous; almost leafless for a period in September or October.


Leaf blades about 6-16 x 3-10 cm. Midrib and the main lateral veins depressed on the upper surface although the midrib may also be raised in a groove. Pairs of leaves attached to the same side and almost the same point on the twigs. Petioles about 12-15 mm long, channelled on the upper surface although ridged down the middle of the groove.


Inflorescence 1-2(-3)-flowered, pedicels about 8 mm long. Calyx glabrous, truncate, usually with five short rounded lobes (sometimes four). Corolla five, sometimes 4-lobed, tube about 2 mm long, lobes about 7-8 mm long. Anthers about 4-5 mm long, filaments about 1.5 mm long. Ovary glabrous, about 1.3 mm diam., style up to 6 mm long.


Calyx green, glabrous, patelliform, persistent at the base of the fruits. Fruits bright red (scarlet) globular, about 10-17 mm diam. Pedicels about 25 mm long. Seeds about 50-70 per fruit, flattened, about 3.5 mm diam., margins thickened, surface shallowly reticulate. Embryo +/- horseshoe-shaped, the cotyledons sometimes folded back on themselves.


Cotyledons ovate to lanceolate, about 9-17 x 6 mm, hairy at least on the upper surface, petioles about 1 mm long. First pair of true leaves ovate or elliptic, about 40 x 25 mm, tapering to long petioles. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade broadly ovate, triangular or cordate, apex acute to acuminate, upper surface with a few scattered hairs along the midrib; petiole and stem clothed in long, torulose hairs. Petioles decurrent on the main stem for a short distance. Terminal buds clothed in pale hairs. Seed germination time 32 to 60 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland, occurs in CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as coastal central Queensland. Altitudinal range from sea level to 600 m. Grows as an understory tree in monsoon forest and beach forest.

Solanum shanesii F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 6: 144(1868), Type: Queensland, Rockhampton, 25 Feb 1868, P. OShanesy; Lecto: MEL.
RFK Code
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