Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Solanaceae
Withania somnifera

Citation: Dunal in A. DC., Prod. 13:453 (1852).

Synonymy: Physalis somnifera L., Sp. Pl. 182 (1753).

Common name: Clustered) winter cherry.

A shrub to c. 1 m tall, woody below, grey-pubescent with dendritic hairs, sparse on older surfaces, unarmed; leaves commonly c. 5 x 3 cm, ovate, apex acute or obtuse, petiole c. 1 cm long.

Inflorescence a congested cluster of 4-6 flowers in the leaf axil; pedicels 3-5 mm long; calyx tube c. 2 mm long, the lobes 2-3 mm long, shortly triangular; corolla 5-6 mm long, the tube campanulate, the lobes cut to about the middle, a drab yellowish-green; filaments c. 3 mm long, slender; anthers c. 1 mm long, ovate; ovary glabrous; style c. 3 mm long, erect; stigma capitate.

Berry 5-10 mm diam., globular, shining, red, succulent, included within the inflated calyx tube; seeds irregular-discoid, c. 2 mm long, light-brown, minutely reticulate, c. 35 per berry.

image of FSA3_Withania_som.jpg Flowering and fruiting branch and a fruit.
Image source: fig. 580 in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).

Published illustration: Purdie et al. (1982) Flora of Australia 29:187, fig. 47A, B.

Distribution:  In Australia plants appear to grow on shallow rocky soils.

S.Aust.: EP, SL, SE.   N.S.W.   native to western Asia and not widely naturalised.

Conservation status: naturalised

Flowering time: April — Sept.

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: No text

Author: Not yet available

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