Dunal, Hist. nat. Solanum 212, t. 2, fig. b (1813).
Synonymy: S. sodomeum sensu J. Black, Fl. S. Aust. 750 (1957), non L.
Common name: Apple of Sodom.
An often rounded woody shrub to 1 m high and slightly broader; stems, petioles, leaves (upper and lower surfaces), pedicels and calyces with prominent stout more or less straight straw-coloured prickles to 15 mm long, with a tomentum of stellate hairs, also minute simple glandular hairs, concolorous; leaves sparsely hairy above, densely below, aspect dark-green, to 8 x 6 cm, oval, deeply pinnately lobed, sinuses rounded, matching three-quarters of the way to the midrib, commonly 5-7 major lobes, tips rounded or obtuse, larger lobes with sinuate margins; petiole 1-2 cm long.
Inflorescence a stout raceme from an internodal position bearing few to 6 purple-blue flowers, occasionally the lower flower appearing solitary; peduncle stout, short or absent; pedicels c. 1 cm long, densely prickly; calyx densely prickly; tube c. 5 mm long; lobes 2-3 mm long, triangular, acute; corolla c. 2 cm diam., rotate-stellate; lobes acute, pale-purple with a darker streak towards the base, sparsely pubescent outside; filaments 1-2 mm long; anthers 5-6 mm long, erect, oblong, tapering upwards; ovary glabrous or with a few glandular hairs; style c. 1 cm long, sparsely stellate-pubescent; stigma capitate, green, slightly 2-lobed.
Fruiting pedicel thickened and recurved; calyx somewhat enlarged, appressed, very prickly; berry 2-3 cm diam., globular, first marbled-green, later yellow, finally brownish to blackish, dry when mature; seeds numerous, 2-3 mm long, rounded or obovate, biconvex, light-brown or mustard-coloured, minutely tuberculate all over.
||Flowering and fruiting branch and a fruit.
Image source: fig. 575D in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).|
Cunningham et al. (1982) Plants of western New South Wales, p. 594; Parsons (1973) Noxious weeds of Victoria, p. 274.
All mainland States except the N.T. native to the Mediterranean and South Africa.
Flowering time: throughout the year.
SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia
This species has been listed (as S. sodomeum L.) on the noxious weeds lists of southern States but is rarely of much significance.
Not yet available