Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Solanum sporadotrichum F.Muell.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flower [not vouchered]. © R. Jensen
Fruit [not vouchered]. © R. Jensen
Fruit [not vouchered]. © R. Jensen
Leaf [not vouchered]. © R. Jensen
Stem with spines [not vouchered]. © R. Jensen
Stem with spines [not vouchered]. © R. Jensen
Herbarium sheet. CC-BY: BRI
Juvenile. CC-BY: BRI

Mueller, F.J.H. von (1882), Notes on a new Solanum. Australasian Chemist and Druggist 5: 48 Type: "On Mount Dryander-Kilner and Fitzalan". Lectotype: "I propose MEL 12282 as lectotype." Symon, D.E. (1981), A revision of the genus Solanum in Australia. Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens 4: 242-243.


Shrub 1.5-4 m tall. Large stems with bark furrowed and corky throughout. Branchlets brown with straight, needle shaped prickles present, 0-3 per decimetre (10 cm), prickles 4-7 mm long, 10-12 times longer than wide; juvenile branchlets with c. 130 prickles per dm. Branchlet hairs stellate.


Adult leaves alternate, simple. Stipules absent. Petioles 1-2.2 cm long. Leaf blade elliptical or ovate, 4.8-15 cm long, 2.6-8.2 cm wide, base obtuse or oblique, margin shallowly lobed throughout, lobes 3- on each side, obtuse, apex obtuse or acute. Petioles without prickles. Upper and lower leaf surface with or without prickles and an indumentum of stellate hairs distributed throughout, simple hairs absent, short gland tipped hairs absent. Lower leaf surface with a more dense indumentum of stellate hairs than the upper leaf surface.


Inflorescences supra-axillary and pseudo-racemose with 3-7 bisexual and some male flowers. Pedicels 5-10 mm long with or without prickles. Calyx tube 2-3 mm long, lobes 2.5-7.5 mm long, prickles absent. Calyx with moderate to dense stellate hairs, short gland tipped and simple hairs absent. Corolla purple, 7-12 mm long, shallowly lobed or deeply lobed, inner surface glabrous. Anthers 4.5-7.5 mm long. Ovary glabrous. Functional style 10-11.5 mm long, protruding between anthers, glabrous.


Fruits globular, about 13 mm diam., calyx persistent at the base for less than half or more than half the length of mature fruit, prickles absent. Mature fruit yellowish-green or green,often streaked. Seeds pale yellow about 2.9 mm long. Embryo not seen.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to CEQ where known from west of Townsville to south to Mt Dryander near Airlie beach, and on Calder Island. Found growing in semi-evergreen vine forest and in well-developed Argyrodendron dominated rainforest.

Natural History & Notes

This species is similar to Solanum furfuraceum but differs by the lobed or angled leaves, the sparse stellate indumentum on the upper leaf surface and the usually prickly adult leaves.

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