Solanum amblymerum Dunal in A.DC., Prodr. 13(1): 294 (1852); S. violaceum var. amblymerum (Dunal) Maiden & Betche, Census New South Wales Pl. 181 (1916).

T: Macquarie River, N.S.W., 1822, A. Cunningham 90; holo: G-DC; iso: BM, K, fide D.E. Symon, loc. cit.

S. elegans auct. non Dunal: Symon, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4: 146 (1981) p.p.


Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.8-1.8 m high. Juvenile branchlets with 15-25 prickles per dm, 5-9 mm long; leaves (in outline) lanceolate, shallowly to deeply lobed, with 1 or 2 pairs of lobes; lamina 7-10 cm long, 1.5-2.5 cm wide, with 3-5 prickles on upper surface. Adult branchlets grey; prickles 1-10 per decimetre, straight, acicular, 5-9 mm long, 7-10 times longer than wide; stellae very dense, 0.3-0.4 mm diameter, sessile; lateral rays 7-10, porrect; central ray absent or present, 0-0.5 times as long as laterals, not glandtipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent.

Adult leaves linear or narrow lanceolate, entire or with obtuse basal lobes only; lamina 5-11 cm long, 0.5-1.3 cm wide, 6-13 times longer than broad, apex obtuse or acute, base cuneate, obtuse or hastate, oblique part 0-1.5 mm long, obliqueness index 0-2 percent; petioles 0.3-0.9 cm long, 5-15% length of lamina, prickles absent or present. Upper leaf surface green; prickles 1-7, straight, acicular, 4-10 mm long, prickles present on midvein only; stellate hairs distributed throughout; protostellae present; ordinary stellae very sparse to sparse, 0.4-0.7 mm apart, 0.1-0.2 mm across, sessile; lateral rays 7 or 8, porrect; central ray 0-0.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent. Lower leaf surface white or yellowish; prickles 0-5, straight, acicular, absent or present on midvein only; stellae very dense, c. 0.05 mm apart, 0.2-0.45 mm diameter, sessile; lateral rays 7 or 8, porrect; central ray 0.5-1 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent.

Inflorescence supra-axillary, pseudo-racemose, common peduncle 1-11 mm long, rachis prickles absent; 3-6-flowered, weakly andromonoecious, flowers 5-merous; pedicels 5-10 mm long at anthesis, same thickness throughout, 0.8-0.9 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent. Calyx tube 1.5-2.5 mm long, lobes deltate or attenuate, 2.5-4.5 mm long; prickles absent at anthesis; stellae dense, transparent or purple, 0.25-0.4 mm across, stalks 0-0.1 mm long, lateral rays 7 or 8, central ray 0.5-1 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla purple, 8-14 mm long, rotate, inner surface glabrous or sparsely stellate-hairy; anthers 4.5-6.5 mm long; ovary with Type 2 hairs only; functional style 8-11 mm long, erect, with stellate and Type 2 hairs, stellae 0.4-0.5 mm across, lateral rays 8-11, central ray c. 1 times as long as laterals.

Fruiting calyx with lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles absent. Mature fruits 1-3 per inflorescence, oblate or globular, 11-16 mm diameter, pale green with dark green streaks, 2-locular; placenta in cross-section stalked, anvil-shaped; mesocarp moist but not juicy; exocarp 0.7-0.8 mm thick; pedicels 9-13 mm long in fruit, 0.9-1.4 mm thick at mid-point; seeds white or pale yellow, 2.3-3 mm long.

Description by A.R.Bean, reproduced, with permission, from Austrobaileya 6: 781 (2004).

Another detailed description of this species can be found in Bean's interactive key to the eastern Australian species of Solanum at

Distribution and ecology

Found today between Warwick in SW Qld and Barraba in northern NSW, with the type collected from the disjunct Bathurst area in 1822; Bean records only one other collection from the Bathurst area in 1955 (Bean 2001).

Occurs in recently burnt or disturbed sites in eucalyprt or eucalypt-Callitris woodland on sand.


Part of the S. brownii complex of the S. macoorai group of subgen. Leptostemonum and closest to S. brownii and S. limitare, with which it overlaps in distribution. It differs from both species by

Leaves are entire or with a single pair of lobes at the base in S. amblymerum, entire or with 1-3 pairs of lobes in S. brownii and entire in S. limitare .


S. amblymerum was treated as part of S. elegans by Symon (1981) and in Flora of Australia (Purdie et al., 1982).


Selected specimens

QLD: DARLING DOWNS DISTRICT: Stanthorpe, Jul 1904, Boorman (BRI); Silverwood, Sep 1922, White 1765 (BRI); granite hill W of Glen Aplin, Nov 1946, Everist 1362 (BRI); ‘Benandre’, 23 miles [34 km] SE of Texas, Apr 1962, Pedley 985 (BRI); Thulimbah, 4 miles [6 km] N of Stanthorpe, Oct 1967, Greeness (BRI); 1.6 km W of Cottonvale, Oct 1975, Williams 75096 (BRI); S.F.595, near Mt Gammie North, Sep 1992, Forster 11723 (BRI); Sundown N.P. near Red Rock Gorge road to Severn R., Jan 1993, Forster PIF12677 (AD, BRI); Mt Janet road, Passchendaele S.F., NW of Stanthorpe, Oct 1997, Bean 12471 (BRI); 1 km S of Crystal Mt turnoff, N of Dalveen, Nov 1999, McDonald KRM94 (BRI). MORETON DISTRICT: ridge SW of Mt Hennessy, Black Duck Ck, ‘Glenrock’, Mar 1997, Grimshaw PG2694 (AD, BRI).

NSW: NORTHERN TABLELANDS:Roberts Range, W of ‘Donnybrook’, via Wallangarra, Feb 1990, Bean 1358 (BRI); 9.9 km S of Boonoo Boonoo River, Mt Lindesay Hwy, Jan 1992, Wilson 1321 (BRI, NSW); lookout 1 km S of Emmaville, Jan 2001, Bean 17293 (BRI, NSW).

As cited by Bean (2004).

From the web

Further images of this species can be accessed through

There is a small image in Wildflowers of the Granite Belt which can be downloaded at

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