Photo: M. Fagg ANBG

Photo: M. Fagg ANBG

S of Mimili in NW SA. Photo sent to AD for identification by S. Dodd.

Line drawing by M. Szent Ivany, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4 (1981) 133, fig. 45.

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

Distribution map generated from Australia's Virtual Herbarium .


Solanum ferocissimum Lindley, in Mitchell, Three Exped. Interior Eastern Austral. 2: 58 (1838) 

S. ferocissimum var. typicum Domin, Biblioth. Bot. 89: 580 (1929), nom. illeg. 

T: Near `Burradorgang', interior of New Holland, 28 Apr. 1836, J. Richardson s.n.; holo: CGE; iso: K, MEL. 

S. leptophyllum F. Muell., Fragm. Phytogr. Austral. 2: 164 (1861). 

T: Near Mackenzie and Suttor Rivers, F. Mueller s.n.; n.v.; near Castlereagh River, Bowman s.n.; n.v.; near Warwick, Barrier Range, Beckler s.n.; n.v.; near Mt Murchison, Dallachy s.n.; syn: K; fide D.E. Symon, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4: 134 (1981). 

S. ferocissimum var. hastilobum Domin, op. cit. 581. 

T: Mt Murchison, N.S.W., Dallachy s.n.; syn: K; Mt Ilbillie, S.A., 4 June 1891, R. Helms s.n.; syn: AD, K, NSW; fide D.E. Symon, loc. cit. 

S. ferocissimum var. rectispineum Domin, op. cit. 580. 

T: Dividing Range near Jericho, Qld, Mar. 1910, Domin; syn: PR; Peels Range, N.S.W., Fraser; syn: BM, K, OXF; Peels Range, N.S.W., A. Cunningham; syn: BM; fide D.E. Symon, loc. cit.


Erect, intricate, clonal shrub to 1 m, green; leaves, young stems and calyx variably pubescent with stellate and some minute glandular hairs; hairs sparse on upper leaf-surface, denser on lower surface; prickles 5–10 mm long, usually abundant on stems, leaves and peduncles, absent elsewhere.  

Leaves linear or linear-hastate; lamina 3–6 cm long, 2–7 mm wide, sometimes larger, concolorous to slightly discolorous, entire or with 1–2 basal lobes; petiole 5–15 mm long.  

Inflorescence short, 3–6–flowered; peduncle absent or to 3 mm long; pedicels to 12 mm long. Calyx 2–4 mm long; lobes triangular, 1–3 mm long. Corolla stellate, deeply incised, 15–20 mm diam., white or pale blue. Anthers 1–3.5 mm long.  

Berry globular, 5–8 mm diam., shiny red to almost black. Seeds 2–4 mm long, pale yellowish or light grey-brown. n=12, 24.

Distribution and ecology

A species of disjunct distribution. Occurs mainly in southern Qld and central and western N.S.W., in red loamy soil, and in northern S.A. and southern N.T. in sandy soil, frequently in shelter of other trees or shrubs. Scattered collections from creeklines in W.A.


Closely related to S. parvifolium R. Br.; distinguished by more copious prickles and concolorous to slightly discolorous leaves.

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

Selected specimens

W.A.: Hamersley Range National Park, G.W. Carr 4908 & A.C. Beauglehole 48686 (PERTH). N.T.: c. 24 km SW of Alice Springs, P.K. Latz 121 (NT). S.A.: 16 km E of Tieyon Homestead, E.A. Shaw 458 (AD, 2 specimens). Qld: near Westmar, L. Pedley 743 (BRI). N.S.W.: 28 km W of Brewarrina, D.F. Blaxell 415 (NSW).


Plant status, if any

Conservation status as a plant of least concern in theNorthern Territorysee

From the web

An image of this species can be seen at

Further information on this species in NSW can be seen on the PlantNET site and a fact sheet can be downloaded from the SA eFlora site.

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