Line drawing by M. Szent Ivany, J. Adelaide Bot. Gards 4 (1981) 253, fig. 111.

Distribution map generated from Australia's Virtual Herbarium.


Solanum dimorphispinum C.T. White, Proc. Roy. Soc. Queensland 50: 82 (1939)

T: Mt Spurgeon, Qld, Sept. 1936, C.T. White 10619; holo: BRI.


Erect shrub or vine, 2-5 m high, green; leaves pubescent with minute stellate hairs, the hairs sparse on upper surface, dense on lower surface; prickles 2-3 mm long, common on stems and petioles, scattered on juvenile leaves, few or absent on mature leaves; leaves discolorous.

Mature leaves ovate; lamina mostly 10-15 cm long, 4.5-7 cm wide, entire to shallowly lobed; petiole 1-2.5 cm long. Juvenile leaves ovate, the lamina up to 22 cm long, 15 cm wide, lobed; lobe margins shallowly lobed.

Inflorescence 5-17-flowered; peduncle 0-10 mm long; pedicels 12-23 mm long. Calyx 4-8 mm long; lobes deltate, 3-5 mm long, sometimes several fused. Corolla stellate, deeply incised, 15-30 mm diam., light purple. Anthers 5-6.5 mm long.

Berry globular or depressed-globular, 25-35 mm diam., pale yellow when ripe; fruiting pedicel 29-39 mm long. Seeds 2.3 -2.8 mm long, yellow-orange.

Another detailed description of this species can be found on the Bean interactive key site at

Distribution and ecology

Known only from the Mossman area, north of the Atherton Tableland, Qld, in disturbed areas of rainforest and along forest margins.


Symon (1981) considered that S. dimorphispinum C.T. White and S. hamulosum C.T. White were related not to other Australian species but to species of sect. Micrantha  from Central and South America; he considered both species were possibly early introductions into Australia.

This hypothesis has been rejected by Bean (2004) because of the closeness of their relationship to other Australian species such as those of the S. macoorai  group of subgen. Leptostemonum. Bean defined a new group, the S. hamulosum group, consisting of these two species and a newly described species, S. eminens, from Australia, probably also including some Malesian species from New Guinea and the Philippines.

The species has not been included in any molecular phylogenies to this time.

Derivation of epithet

The epithet is a reference to the two sorts of spines which occur on this plant.


Selected specimens

Qld: Mt Lewis, V.K. Moriarty 1590 (AD, BRI, CANB).

Plant status, if any

This species is listed as rare under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act, 1992.

From the web

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