Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Solanum betaceum Cav.

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

Cavanilles, A.J. (1800) Icon. 6: 15. Type: Bolivia? cultivated in Madrid, Spain A. J. Cavanilles 1798.

Common name



Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub about 2-3 m tall.


Leaf blades large, about 30-35 x 25-30 cm, petioles about 10-20 cm long. Leaf blades finely hairy on both the upper and lower surfaces. Crushed leaves emit an unpleasant odour.


Calyx about 5 mm long, clothed in short hairs. Corolla about 20 mm diam. Filaments about 2 mm long, anthers about 4-5 mm long. Anthers forming a cone around the style. Anthers basifixed but the filament continuing up the back of the anther as a yellow bulge. Style about 5-6 mm long.


Fruits ovoid, about 4-7 x 3-5 cm, calyx persistent at the base. Seeds more than 50 per fruit, each seed about 3.5-4 x 3 mm. Embryo coiled, cotyledons about as wide as the radicle.


Cotyledons ovate-lanceolate, about 12-13 x 7-10 mm. First pair of true leaves cordate. Stem and petioles clothed in erect, translucent, glandular hairs. At the tenth leaf stage: freshly broken leaves emit an unpleasant odour. Leaf blade cordate about 8-10 x 5-7 cm, petiole about 2.5-3 cm long. Leaf base cordate with the lobes overlapping. Both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaf blade hairy, many of the hairs with glandular tips. Seed germination time 19 to 27 days.

Distribution and Ecology

An introduced species originally from South America now occasionally naturalised in NEQ, south-eastern coastal Queensland and eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range in NEQ from 700-800 m (?) Grows in disturbed areas of upland rain forest, particularly on basalt.

Cyphomandra betacea (Cav.) Sendtner, Flora 28: 172(1845).
RFK Code
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