Photo: G.Leiper G.Leiper

Photo: G.Leiper G.Leiper

Distribution map generated from Australia's Virtual Herbarium.  


Solanum densevestitum F. Muell. ex Benth., Fl. Austral. 4: 456 (1868)

T: Araucaria Ranges, Qld, Dec. 1856, F. Mueller s.n.; syn: MEL; Upper Burnett River, Qld, F. Mueller s.n.; syn: K; Brisbane River, Moreton Bay, Qld, Dec. 1856, F. Mueller s.n.; lecto: MEL 12200; iso: K; fide D.E. Symon, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4: 142 (1981); New England, N.S.W., C. Stuart s.n.; syn.: K; Hastings River, N.S.W., Beckler s.n.; syn: K; Mt Lindsay, N.S.W., C. Moore s.n.; syn: NSW.


Leafy, clonal shrub to 1 m, green, densely pubescent with stellate hairs; twigs and young growth hirsute-villous; prickles usually absent, occasionally present, to 9 mm long.

Leaves ovate, ovate-lanceolate or elliptic; lamina mostly 6–9 cm long, 3–4 cm wide, slightly discolorous, mature leaves entire or almost so, the juvenile leaves shallowly lobed; petiole 1–3 cm long. Inflorescence short, 1–3–flowered; peduncle absent; pedicels c. 10 mm long, lengthened in fruit. Calyx 5–15 mm long; lobes usually elliptic to oblong, 4–12 mm long, leafy, slightly enlarged in fruit. Corolla stellate, shallowly incised, 25–30 mm diam., 4–5–lobed, violet. Anthers 4–5 mm long.

Berry globular, 6–7 mm diam., bright red, largely covered by calyx-lobes. Seeds 2–2.5 mm diam., pale yellow-brown. n=12. 

The circumscription of this species has been narrowed since Symon (1981) and the Flora of Australia treatment. Since then, both S. stupefactum Symon and S. hapalum A.R.Bean have been removed from it. Below is reproduced Bean's description of this species (Bean 2004).

Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.4-0.9 m high. Juvenile branchlets without prickles; leaves (in outline) broadly ovate, shallowly lobed, with 2-3 pairs of lobes; lamina c. 9 ? 6 cm, without prickles on upper surface. Adult stem prickles absent. Adult branchlets grey; prickles absent; stellae dense to very dense,  0.7-1.5 mm diameter, stalks 0-2 mm long;  lateral rays 4-6, porrect; central ray 1.5-4 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent.

Adult leaves ovate or broadly ovate, entire; lamina 5-10 cm   long, 2.6-5.5 cm wide, 1.6-2 times longer than broad, apex acute, base obtuse or cordate, oblique part 0-5 mm long, obliqueness index 0-5 percent; petioles 0.9-3.4 cm long, 17-35%   length of lamina, prickles absent. Upper leaf   surface green; prickles absent; stellate hairs distributed throughout; protostellae present; ordinary stellae dense, 0.2-0.4 mm apart,   0.5-1.1 mm across, sessile; lateral rays 4-6, porrect; central ray 3-6 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2   hairs absent. Lower leaf surface green; prickles   absent; stellae dense, 0.1-0.3 mm apart,   0.7-1.6 mm diameter, stalks 0-0.5 mm long;   lateral rays 4-8, porrect; central ray 2-5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger   hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent.

Inflorescence supra-axillary, solitary or pseudo-umbellate, common peduncle 0-4 mm long; 1-3-flowered, with all flowers bisexual and 5-merous; pedicels 4-9 mm long at anthesis, same thickness  throughout, 0.5-0.6 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent. Calyx tube 1.5-2.5 mm long, lobes elliptic, 6-10 mm long; prickles absent at anthesis; stellae dense, transparent, 0.8-1.8 mm across, stalks 0-0.9 mm long, lateral rays 4 or 5, central ray 1.5-3 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla purple, 10-13 mm long, shallowly lobed, inner surface glabrous; anthers 4-5.5 mm long; ovary with stellate and Type 2 hairs; functional style 6-7.5 mm long, erect, with Type 2 hairs only.

 Fruiting calyx with lobes exceeding mature fruit, prickles absent. Mature fruits 1 or 2 per inflorescence, globular, c. 7 mm diameter, red, 1-locular (septum absent or incomplete); placenta not apparent; mesocarp juicy, succulent; pedicels 9-12 mm long in fruit; seeds pale yellow, 2-2.2 mm long. Felty Nightshade.  

Distribution and ecology

Occurs in coastal and subcoastal areas of south-eastern Qld and north-eastern N.S.W., in sand and basaltic soil.

Usually associated with wet sclerophyll forest or rainforest margins.

The records for the south coast of NSW on the AVH-generated map are in need of clarification.


This species was treated as a part of S. discolor by Symon (1981). Bean (2004) notes that it is close to S. discolor , S. yirrkalense and S. fervens, all of which occur on Cape York Peninsula, but differs from them by its lower leaf surface being green and either lacking stellate hairs completely or with only a very sparse covering of them.

Bean also notes that specimens lacking flowers or fruits are easily confused with S. macoorai, but this has a more southerly distribution.

Treated as part of the S. densevestitum group of the subg. Leptostemonum (Bean 2004), together with S. gympiense, S. hapalum, S. innoxium, S. johnsonianum, S. nemophilum and S. ultimum .

Selected specimens

QLD: S of Massey Creek, Eungella N.P., Sep 1991, A.R.Bean 3682 (BRI);Eungella Range, Schumanns Road, c. 1.1 km E of  Swampy Ridge, Jun 1995, Pollock 233 (BRI). BURNETT  DISTRICT: 14 km ESE of Elgin Vale, Jan 1991, L.Pedley 5596 (BRI). WIDE BAY DISTRICT: Lagoon Pocket via Gympie, Aug 1930, Lowe s.n. (BRI); Elanda Point, near Lake Cootharaba, Jun 1986, C.Sandercoe C996 & Milne (BRI); S.F.639 Wrattens, Apr 1996, P.Forster 19136 & Leiper (AD, BRI); Booloumba Creek road, SW of Kenilworth, Aug 1999, A.R.Bean 15246 (BRI, NSW); S.F.256 Imbil, Mitchell L.A., Mar 2003, P.Forster PIF29294 et al. (BRI, MEL, NE, NSW). MORETON DISTRICT: Enoggera, Mar 1912, C.T.White s.n. (BRI); Blackall Range, Dec 1918, C.T.White s.n. (BRI); near Samford, on House Mtn, Feb 1945, S.T.Blake 15506 (BRI); Bruce Hwy, Caboolture, Jun 1960, Williamson s.n. (BRI); Benarkin S.F. near Blackbutt, Jul 1974, Moriarty 1542 (BRI, CANB); Maiala Reserve, near Mt Glorious, Jun 1989, D.E.Symon 14881 (AD, BRI); Mt Perserverance S.F.757, Jul 1996, Stephens ESK28 & Dowling (BRI).

As cited by Bean in his 2004 treatment of this species.


From the web

Treated as a native which can be confused with S. mauritianum on the South Coasts Weeds site where there is an image of flowers and leaves However this species does not occur naturally in this region and so the identification needs to be checked.

A photograph of this species by Hugh & Nan Nicholson can be seen on the Terania Rainforest Publishing Photo Library site.

An image of a flower and leaves can also be seen on the Bean interactive key site at and on the Brisbane Rainforest Action and Information Network site

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