Wooltana Stn, SA. Photo: A.Robinson  A.Robinson

Wooltana Stn, SA. Photo: A.Robinson A.Robinson

Line drawing by M. Szent Ivany, J. Adelaide Bot. Gards 4 (1981) 149, fig. 54.

Sketch of fruits by D. E. Symon, J. Adelaide Bot. Gards 4 (1981), fig. 151K.

Line drawing by G. Dashorst, Fl. S. Australia 3,  f. 573 partly (1986).

Distribution map generated from Australia's Virtual Herbarium.


Solanum chenopodinum F. Muell., Fragm. Phytogr. Austral. 2: 165 (1861)

 T: River Darling, N.S.W., Beckler s.n.; syn: MEL; Barrier Range, N.S.W., Beckler s.n.; syn: MEL; Mt Murchison, Dallachy s.n.; lecto: MEL11705; fide D.E. Symon, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4: 148 (1981); Stuart's Creek, J.M. Stuart s.n.; syn: K.


Erect shrub to 1 m, green, pubescent with minute stellate hairs; hairs sparse on upper leaf-surface, dense on lower surface; prickles to 1 cm long, usually scattered on stems, less common or absent elsewhere.  

Leaves hastate but variable; lamina mostly 4–6 cm long, 2–4 cm wide, discolorous, usually with 2–4 lobes towards base; petiole 10–15 mm long.  

Inflorescence 3–12–flowered; peduncle to 5 mm long; rachis 5–25 mm long, pedicels 5–6 mm long. Calyx 2–4 mm long, sometimes larger; lobes triangular or lanceolate, 1–3 mm long. Corolla stellate, 10–20 mm diam., pale lilac or white. Anthers 3–5 mm long.

Berry globular, 5–9 mm diam., bright red, drying blackish. Seeds 3–5 mm long, pale yellow. n=12.

Distribution and ecology

A species of disjunct distribution in arid areas of south-western Qld, north-western N.S.W., central-eastern S.A. and southern N.T.

Usually grows in sandy soil and on alluvial banks of seasonally flooded creeks, often in shelter of other shrubs or trees.


It is placed in the S. ferocissimum  group of subgen. Leptostemonum together with S. corifolium, S. defensum, S. discolor, S. dissectum, S. dryanderense, S. dysprosiumS. ferocissimum, S. fervens, S. inaequilaterum, S. latens, S. lythrocarpum, S. mentiens, S. parvifolium, S. shirleyanum, S. stelligerum and S. yirrkalense (Bean 2004).


Both S. ferocissimum and S. chenopodinum often have hastate leaves or at least leaves with lobes at the base. Both occur in the drier parts of Australia where they are the only species to have red fruits.

They can be distinguished by the wider (1-2.5 cm vs 0.2-0.7 cm) leaves of S. chenopodinum, these lacking prickles on the upper surface, the prickles of S. chenopodinum are widened at the base and the species has shorter (8-12 mm long) fruiting pedicels than S. ferocissimum (13-16 mm long).



Selected specimens

N.T.: Near Simpsons Gap, N. Byrnes 168 (CANB, DNA); c. 22 km W of Alice Springs, P.K. Latz (NT). S.A.: 21 km W of Old Moolawatana, D.E. Symon 5972 (AD). Qld: Currawilla, S.L. Everist 4025 (BRI). N.S.W.: Milparinka, G.M. Cunningham 1078 & P.L. Milthorpe (NSW).

Plant status, if any

Conservation status as a plant of least concern in theNorthern Territorysee

From the web

Further information and images for S. chenopodimum in NSW can be seen on the PlantNET site and for SA on the eFlora site.

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