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

Family: Solanaceae
Solanum ferocissimum

Citation: Lindley in T.L. Mitchell, Three Exped. Int. eastern Austral. 2:58 (1838).

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Spiny potato bush.

An erect intricate clonal shrub 0.5-1 m tall; prickles 5-10 mm long, straight, light- or dark-brown, abundant on stems, upper and lower leaf surfaces and peduncles, usually absent from pedicels and calyces; leaves sparsely pubescent above with stellate and some minute glandular hairs, pubescence denser below, not greatly so, general appearance green, not discolorous; leaves 3-10 x 0.2-0.7 cm, linear or linear-hastate, margin entire, with or without 1 or 2 basal lobes variously developed, lobes to 5 mm long, leaf apex acute, base cuneate or truncate, unequal.

Inflorescence a cluster or short cyme of 3-6 flowers; peduncle to 3 mm long, or absent; floral rhachis to 0.5 rarely 2 cm or absent; pedicels to 1 cm long, slender, almost glabrous, slightly thickened upwards; calyx tube c. 1 mm long, open; lobes 1-1.5 mm long, triangular, sparsely stellate and glandular-pubescent; corolla c. 2 cm diam., often strongly reflexed, deeply stellate, white or a pale purple-blue; filaments c. 1 mm long; anthers c. 5 mm long, attenuate-oblong, loosely erect; ovary with a few glandular hairs towards the apex; style glabrous, erect, projecting slightly beyond the anthers; stigma capitate, green.

Fruit 5-8 mm diam., globular, at first green, later shiny and red, succulent, finally almost black; seeds 2-4 mm long, variable in size, a pale or light grey-brown.

image of FSA3_Solanum_fer.jpg Flowering and fruiting branch and a fruit.
Image source: fig. 575C in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).

Published illustration: Cunningham et al. (1982)Plants of western New South Wales, p. 594.

Distribution:  This species has an interesting disjunct distribution with isolated populations in the States listed.

S.Aust.: NW, LE, EA.   W.Aust.; N.T.; Qld.

Conservation status: native

Flowering time: Oct. (few records).

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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