Solanum ditrichum A.R.Bean, Austrobaileya 6: 721 (2004).

T: NSW, Branch road,Dalmorton State Forest, SW of Grafton, 7 Jan 2001, A.R.Bean 17255; holo: BRI; iso: CANB, K, MEL, NSW.

Solanum sp. (Mt Maroon P.I.Forster PIF11564), Henderson, Names Distrib. Qld Plants (2002).


Prostrate or sprawling, herbaceous resprouter, 0.1-0.6 m high. Juvenile stage absent. Adult branchlets green; prickles 80-180 per decimetre, straight, acicular, 1-7 mm long, 10-17 times longer than wide; stellae sparse, 0.5-0.6 mm diameter, stalks 0-0.1 mm long; lateral rays 5-8, porrect; central ray present, 0.7-1.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs abundant, gland-tipped, 0.1-0.7 mm long; Type 2 hairs absent.

Adult leaves ovate or broadly ovate, shallowly lobed throughout; lobes 3-6 on each side, acute, lobing index 1.2-1.4; lamina 6-12.5 cm long, 4.5-9.5 cm wide, 1.3-1.8 times longer than broad, apex acute, base obtuse or cordate, oblique part 1-10 mm long, obliqueness index 2-11 percent; petioles 2-5.6 cm long, 20-50% length of lamina, prickles present. Upper leaf surface green; prickles 15-100, straight, acicular, 2-8 mm long, prickles present on mid-vein and lateral veins; stellate hairs distributed throughout; proto-stellae absent; ordinary stellae sparse, 0.8-1.7 mm apart, 0.3-0.4 mm across, sessile; lateral rays 4-7, porrect; central ray 2-3 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs present, 0.4-1.2 mm apart, not gland-tipped or gland-tipped, 0.1-0.6 mm long; Type 2 hairs absent. Lower leaf surface green; prickles 30-100, straight, acicular, present on mid-vein and lateral veins; stellae sparse to moderate, 0.4-1.5 mm apart, 0.5-0.7 mm diameter, sessile; lateral rays 4-8, porrect; central ray 1-1.7 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs present, 0.3-1 mm apart, gland-tipped, 0.1-0.6 mm long; Type 2 hairs absent.

Inflorescence supra-axillary, pseudo-racemose, common peduncle 2-16 mm long, rachis prickles present; 2-5-flowered, weakly andro-monoecious, flowers 5-merous; pedicels 5-18 mm long at anthesis, markedly thicker distally, 0.4-1 mm thick at mid-point, prickles present. Calyx tube 3-5 mm long, lobes deltate or attenuate, 4-8 mm long; prickles present at anthesis, 36-70 per flower, 2-7 mm long; stellae sparse, transparent, 0.4-0.5 mm across, sessile, lateral rays 4-8, central ray 1-1.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs present; Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla purple, 9-17 mm long, rotate, inner surface glabrous; anthers 4-5 mm long; ovary glabrous, or with Type 2 hairs only; functional style 9-10.5 mm long, sigmoid, glabrous.

Fruiting calyx with lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles 2-7 mm long. Mature fruits 1 or 2 per inflorescence, globular, 21-26 mm diameter, yellowish-green or pale green with dark green streaks, 2-locular; placenta in cross-section stalked, anvil-shaped; mesocarp moist but not juicy; exocarp c. 2.5 mm thick; pedicels 15-28 mm long in fruit, 1.3-2 mm thick at mid-point; seeds pale yellow, 2.3-2.6 mm long.   

Bean's original description in Austrobaileya 6: 721 (2004), reproduced with permission.

Another detailed description of this species by Bean can be found in his interactive key to eastern Australian Solanum species at

Distribution and ecology

Occurs from Mt Mee in SE Qld to Dungog in NE NSW where it occurs in eucalypt forest or on margins of rainforests.


Closest to S. campanulatum but differing from that species by

Considered by Bean (2004) to be a member of the S. hystrix group of subgen. Leptostemonum. Since molecular studies by Levin (2006) do not support this placement of S. campanulatum, it may be that S. ditrichum should also not be included here.  

Derivation of epithet

The specific epithet ditrichum is from di- Greek for two, and trichos, Greek for hair, and is a reference to the two sorts of hairs present on the leaves, in this case stellate and simple eglandular hairs.


Selected specimens

Queensland. WIDE BAY DISTRICT: Gympie, undated, Kenny (BRI); Kin Kin, Mar 1916, Francis & White s.n. (BRI). DARLING DOWNS DISTRICT: top of Mt Mitchell, Main Range, Jul 1930, White 6881 (BRI); S.F.401, 2 km W of Mt Huntley, Oct 1992, Forster PIF11852 et al. (AD, BRI, K, L, MEL, NSW); Portion 90, Wyberba, near Girraween N.P., Sep 1993, Bean 6409 & Forster (BRI); 6 km from Mt Colliery towards Gambubal S.F., E of Warwick, Apr 1999, Bean 14806 (BRI). MORETON DISTRICT: Yandina, Mar 1891, Simmonds s.n. (BRI); Springbrook, Sep 1929, White 6244 (BRI); foot of Mt Ernest, Oct 1932, Blake 4287 (BRI); Campbell’s Folly, 4 km SW of Tylerville, Sep 1992, Forster PIF11523 & Leiper (AD, BRI); Mt Maroon, summit area, Sep 1992, Forster PIF11564 & Leiper (BRI, MEL); Mt Gillies, Oct 1992, Forster PIF12076 & Reilly (AD, BRI); Duck Creek road, near O’Reilly’s Guest House, Jan 2000, Bean 15972 (BRI, NSW); Wilkies Scrub, Wongawallan, 7 km W of Coomera, Jul 2001, Bean 17689 (BRI, CANB, L, MO). New South Wales . NORTHERN TABLELANDS: Gibraltar Range N.P., c. 67 km E of Glen Innes, Oct 1969, Coveny 2236 (AD, BRI, NSW); c. 12 km from Tenterfield on road to Bluff Rock, Sep 1976, Pearce 87 (NSW); c. 3 km S of Wallangarra on main road to Tenterfield, Dec 1977, Haegi 1547 (BRI, NSW); 29 km N of Tenterfield, off the Mt Lindesay Hwy, Bungoona track to summit in Bald Rock N.P., Oct 1993, Coveny 16560 & Whalen (AD, BRI, MO, NSW). NORTH COAST: Toonumbar S.F., c. 26 km NW of Kyogle, Feb 1972, Henderson H1265 (BRI); Mountaineer track, Chichester S.F., Dungog, Jun 1974, Swan 24 (AD, BRI); Whian Whian S.F., N of Lismore, Aug 1975, Moriarty 1707 (BRI); summit of Bald Knob, 10 km W of Woodenbong, Sep 1998, Bean 13799 (BRI); Mt Warning, Oct 1963, Johnson 2730 (BRI); Ewingar S.F., S of Tabulam, Feb 2001, Bean 17331 (BRI, NSW).

Specimens cited in Bean (2004).

From the web

Images of immature fruits, hairs on the stem, and the type specimen can be accessed on the web through the description of this species by Bean at

Further information and a herbarium specimen of this species in NSW can be seen on the PlantNET site.

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

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