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Photo by Forest & Kim Starr; available at Plants of Hawaii

Flower detail. Photo by Forest & Kim Starr; available at Plants of Hawaii

Synonymy

Solandra maxima (Sess & Mo.)P.S.Green, Bot. Mag. 176: t. 506 (1967)

Datura maxima Sess & Mo., Pl. Nov. Hisp. 25 (1888). T: Mexico, M.Sess s.n.; holo: ?MA (fide Green 1994).

Solandra hartwegii N.E.Br. ex C.F.Ball, Gard. Chron. ser. 3, 49: 383, fig. 173 (1911). T: cultivated, Glasnevin Botanic Garden; holo: K (fide Green 1994).

Description

Straggling and scrambling, wide-ranging, stout evergreen shrub; shoots glabrous. 

Leaf lamina broadly elliptic, (7-) 9-14 (-18) cm long, (3.5-) 5-8 (-11) cm broad, obtuse to broadly cuneate at base, entire, obtuse to shortly acuminate at apex, thickish. 

Flowers sweet scented; pedicel stout, 1-2 cm long.  Calyx tubular, 5-7 cm long, unequally divided, (3-) 5-lobed.  Corolla 16-24 cm long, somewhat cup-shaped, 10-13 cm diam., with a relatively narrow tube, golden yellow with 5 purplish brown lines inside; lobes 5-8 cm long, becoming rolled back.  Filaments 9-10 cm long; anthers versatile.  Style 20-25 cm long; stigma capitate. 

Berry conoid, 4-5 cm long.

Description reproduced from Green, P.S. (1994). Flora of Australia 49: 303.

Distribution and ecology

Solandra maxima is a Mexican species commonly seen in gardens, but there appear to be no records of it naturalising in Australian states, apart from the record of its occurrence on Norfolk Island.

Derivation of epithet

From maximus, Latin for largest, a reference to the very large flowers of this species.

Images and information on web

An image and information about Solandra maxima can be seen on the University of Connecticut Ecology and Evolutionary Biology site. 

Further information about this species, together with images, can be seen on the Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER) site.

There are some high resolution images of this species at http://www.plantsystematics.org/

Information about the possible toxic properties of Solandra species can be found with a search in the FDA Poisonous Plant Database

 

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