Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Solanum intonsum A.R.Bean

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flower. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves and flower. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves and fruit. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves. © G. Sankowsky
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Bean, A.R. (2004) Austrobaileya 6: 763. Type: Queensland, Smiths Track Barron Gorge National Park, 6 May 2000, A.R. Bean 16542; Holo: BRI; Iso: MEL, NSW.

Common name

Tomato Bush; Wild Tomato; Nightshade


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub about 1-2 m tall. Stems often armed with short spines.


Leaf blades mostly about 5-13 x 1.5-4.5 cm, stellate hairs present on both the upper and lower surfaces but denser on the lower surface. Petioles about 1-4 cm long, densely clothed in stellate hairs and likewise the twigs.


Inflorescence up to 20 flowered. Pedicels about 5-10 mm long. Calyx about 6-10 mm long, densely stellate hairy on the outer surface, lobes narrowly triangular, about 4-6 mm long. Corolla about 20-25 mm diam., outer surface stellate hairy, inner surface glabrous. Anthers about 4-6 mm long.


Fruits globular or depressed globular, about 10-15 mm diam., calyx lobes stellate hairy, persistent at the base. Seeds flat, about 2-3 mm long. Embryo +/- coiled, cotyledons no wider than the radicle.


Cotyledons +/- lanceolate, about 13-18 x 4-5 mm. First pair of leaves alternate, ovate-lanceolate, margins smooth. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade deeply lobed (7-9 lobes) with the divisions almost extending to the midrib. Midrib raised on the upper surface. Crushed leaves emit a fetid odour. Leaves sparsely clothed in very small hairs on the upper surface but the lower surface densely clothed in stellate, pale hairs. Spines usually present on the stem, petiole and midrib on the upper surface of the leaf blade. Seed germination time 30 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from 50-900 m. Grows in eucalypt woodland or on margins of rainforest or vine thickets.

Solanum quadriloculatum F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 2: 161(1861), Type: Queensland, Nicholson River, Gulf of Carpentaria, 21-24 Aug. 1856, F. Mueller; lecto: MEL; iso: K. Fide D. E. Symon (1981). Solanum sp. (Font Hills J.R. Clarkson+7901), Names & Distribution of Queensland Plants, Algae & Lichens. : 190(2002).
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