Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition
Solanum ellipticum R.Br.
Brown, R. (1810) Prodromus : 446. Type: Queensland, Broadsound, 25 Sept. 1802, R. Brown, Lecto: BM; Isolecto: MPU.
Usually grows as a decumbent plant less than 1 m tall but occasionally flowers and fruits as a shrub about 1 m tall.
Twigs and both leaf surfaces densely clothed in stellate hairs. Straight spines (up to 10 mm long) present on the twigs, petioles, midrib and lateral veins on the upper surface of the leaf blade. Spines sometimes also present on the midrib and lateral veins on the underside of the leaf blade. Leaf blades about 3-15 x 1.5-8 cm, petioles about 1-3 cm long.
Inflorescence axis, pedicels and calyx armed with straight spines. Pedicels about 5-10 mm long. Calyx about 5-6 mm long, lobes about 3-4 mm long. Corolla about 15-20 mm diam., clothed in stellate hairs. Anthers about 4-5 mm long. Style clothed in stellate hairs.
Cotyledons ovate to lanceolate, about 11-17 x 6-8 mm, margin hairy, upper surface hairy, lower surface with hairs on the midrib. Petioles about 3 mm long. Hypocotyl very hairy. First pair of true leaves subopposite, rounded at the apex, base cordate. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade densely stellate hairy on both the upper and lower surfaces. Straight spines (to about 5 mm long) usually present on the stem, petiole and along the midrib. Terminal bud densely clothed in matted, white, stellate hairs. Seed germination time 43 days.
Occurs in NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as north-eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 600 m. Usually grows in rocky areas, often in open forest but also found in vine thickets and monsoon forest.