Leaves and flowers. Photo by Genet from

Distribution map generated from Australia's Virtual Herbarium. For a more up to date map visit the AVH site through your local herbarium.


Solanum abutiloides (Griseb.) Bitter & Lillo, Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 12: 136 (1913);

Cyphomandra abutiloides Griseb., Abh. Königl. Ges. Wiss. Göttingen 24: 249 (1879).

T: Argentina. Jujuy: prope urbem Jujuy, Lorentz & Hieronymus 995; lecto: CORD fide Morton (1976); isolecto: B, destroyed.  


Shrub or small tree 1–3 m tall, unarmed, all parts densely pubescent with abundant glandular, stellate and multi-angulate hairs (sessile glandular, sessile porrect stellate with long glandular central cell and multiseriate stalked multi-angulate hairs with glandular central cell), strongly odorous.  

Petiole 5–10 (-29) cm long; lamina 10–15 (-18) cm long, 10–12 (-17) cm wide, ovate acuminate, margin entire or slightly undulate, 6–7 principal lateral veins, base cordate; each leaf with two pseudo-stipular leaves in axil, 1.5–3 cm long, 1–3 cm wide, ovate, almost sessile or with petiole 1–3 mm long.  

Inflorescence at first terminal, soon displaced by an axillary shoot, peduncle 3–8 cm long to first fork, floral rachis forked further 2–3 times bearing 20 or more flowers; pedicel 5–7 mm long; calyx 7–9 mm long, deeply divided, the lobes ca 7 mm long, ovate-lanceolate; corolla ca 1 cm long, divided half its length, lobes ca 7 mm long, ovate-elliptic, densely pubescent outside, white; filaments 1.5–2 mm long a little dilated below, anther 4 mm long, oblong, apical pores introrse; ovary 3 mm long, oblong, densely pubescent, style 5 mm long, erect, stigma capitate greenish.  

Fruits numerous in an erect corymbose-cymose cluster; pedicels to 2 cm long; calyx lobes to 1 cm long, enlarged to cover base of fruit; berry ca 1 cm long, ovate, remaining pubescent with simple and stellate hairs, finally yellow to orange-yellow pulpy. Seeds ca 1.5 mm long, discoidal, light yellowish-brown, numerous.

Distribution and ecology

Original distribution in north-western Argentina and southern Bolivia, along the Cordillera Central of Bolivia and eastern Andean slopes of Argentina.

 In Australia, only recorded thus far from heavily disturbed woodland forming part of stage 2 of the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Garden (Brisbane) development.

Common name



A member of subg. Brevantherum, species of which are usually shrubby, have stellate hairs, and have many-branched corymbose inflorescences.

Other species of this group found in Australia are S. mauritianum and S. erianthemum.

Distinguished from the closely related S. erianthum and S. mauritianum by the presence of pseudo-stipules and cordate leaf bases and further from S. mauritianum by its white flowers.



The presence of relatively dense sessile vesicular glands on the upper surface of the leaf and on the inside of the calyx lobes is characteristic of this species. These glands presumably account for the distinctive, but not necessarily unpleasant, smell associated with this species. 

Derivation of epithet

The epithet abutiloides means resembling Abutilon, a genus of Malvaceae. Vegetative material could easily be mistaken for an Abutilon species.

Selected specimens

Qld: Moreton District: stage two of the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Garden, Brisbane, in heavily disturbed woodland, Apr. 1985, Swarbrick 8043 (AD, BRI).

Plant status, if any

From the web

Images of the flowers and fruits of this plant can be seen on the Dave’s Garden site and at in both cases as Cyphomandra abutiloides.

The United States Department of Agriculture Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) has numerous links for this species.

Further information and links for this species can be found on the Solanaceae Source site.

In searching for information use both Cyphomandra abutiloides and Solanum abutiloides.