Solanum bauerianum Endl., Prodr. Fl. Norfolk. 54 (1833).

T: "Crescit in insula Norfolk, Octobri florens. (Ferd. Bauer.)"; holo: W; iso: K (fide Green 1994). 

Bauer's own drawing of this species still exists in Vienna and has recently been translated into a colour portrait using Bauer's original notations (see Mabberley et al. 2007, citation below).


See P.S. Green’s original description of this species in the Flora of Australia 49: 300-301.

Another description can be seen on the PlantNet site together with an image of a herbarium collection.

Distribution and ecology

Endemic to Norfolk and Lord Howe Islands, but now assumed to be extinct.

Common name

Bridal Flower (Lord Howe Island).


Considered to be part of Sect. Irenosolanum Seithe together with S. dunalianum, S. tetrandrum and S. viridifolium. All are found in the Pacific islands, PNG and northern Australia. All are shrubs or small trees, usually unarmed, have large entire leaves, are glabrous or with only sparse stellate hairs, tapering anthers and red berries. At first glance they may not appear to be members of subg. Leptostemonum since the stellate hairs and prickles are often only present in young parts.

Whalen (1984) and Bean (2004) both included S. dunalianum, S. tetrandrum and S. viridifolium within the Dunalianum group of subg. Leptostemonum; none of these species was included in the molecular analysis of the relationships of the species of subg. Leptostemonum conducted by Levin et al.(2006). The group is presently the subject of study for a project at the New York Botanic Gardens by Donald McClelland.



Already considered to be extinct on Norfolk Island by 1914 when Laing recorded that it had apparently not been collected since Bauer's collection in 1804-5. Green (1994) recorded Allan Cunningham as the last to collect the species from there in 1830 (specimen in K).

S. bauerianum was still to be found on Lord Howe in 1949 but there have been no later records than this. A discussion concerning the possibilities of the reintroduction of extinct plants and animals to Lord Howe Island can be found in Hutton et al. (2007).

References: Green, P.S. (1994). Solanum bauerianum in Flora of Australia 49: 300-301; Hutton,  I., Parkes, J.P. & Sinclair, A. R. E. (2007). Reassembling island ecosystems: the case of Lord Howe Island. Animal Conservation 10: 22–29; Laing, R.M. (1914). A revised list of the Norfolk Island flora with some notes on the species.Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand 47: 36.

Derivation of epithet

Named after Ferdinand Lucas Bauer  (1760–1826), botanical artist with Robert Brown on Matthew Flinders'  Australian voyage of exploration (1801–1803). After the voyage was completed both Bauer and Brown remained in Australia until 1805 and Bauer collected and illustrated on Norfolk Is. during this time.

Selected specimens

Norfolk Is.: s. loc., F.L.Bauer (K, W); s. loc., G.Caley (W); s. loc., A.Cunningham (K). Lord Howe Is.: North Bay, C.Moore 47 (K, NSW); near Neds Beach, 1920, J.L.Boorman (NSW); s. loc., J.D.McComish 142 (K, NSW).

As cited by P.S.Green (1994).

Plant status, if any

Considered to be extinct on both Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands.

From the web

See Mabberley et al. (2007) for a colour rendition of this species by Marion Westmacott based on Ferdinand Bauer’s illustration still held in the Naturhistorisches Museum inVienna .


See also the National Library of Australia for a watercolour painting of the fruiting plant by Adam Forster in June 1925


Reference: Mabberley, D., Pignatti-Wikus, E. & Riedl-Dorn, C. (2007). An extinct tree ‘revived’. With an illustration, based on Ferdinand Bauer’s materials, by Marion Westmacott. Curtis’s Botanical Magazine 24: 190-195.