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

Family: Solanaceae
Solanum hermanni

Citation: 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.

image of FSA3_Solanum_her.jpg 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).

Published illustration: Cunningham et al. (1982) Plants of western New South Wales, p. 594; Parsons (1973) Noxious weeds of Victoria, p. 274.

Distribution:    All mainland States except the N.T.   native to the Mediterranean and South Africa.

Conservation status: native

Flowering time: throughout the year.

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

Biology: This species has been listed (as S. sodomeum L.) on the noxious weeds lists of southern States but is rarely of much significance.

Author: Not yet available

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