Illustration by W.A.Smith of S. fervens . Reproduced from Austrobaileya 6: 687 (2004), fig.  17.

Distribution map generated from Australia's Virtual Herbarium .


Solanum fervens A.R.Bean, Austrobaileya 6: 686 (2004).

T: E bank of Jardine R mouth, 1 Sep. 1985, J.R.Clarkson 6219; holo: BRI; iso: AD, MBA, QRS.

Solanum sp. (Bamaga, V.Scarth-Johnson 1117), Henderson (2002).


Bean's original description of this species is reproduced here, with permission. See Bean, Austrobaileya 6: 686 (2004).

Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 1-2 m high. Juvenile stage unknown. Adult branchlets yellow or brown; prickles 3-20 per decimetre, straight, acicular, 3-5 mm long, 13-16 times longer than wide; stellae dense to very dense, 0.3-0.4 mm diameter, sessile; lateral rays 7 or 8, porrect; central ray 2-6 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent.

Adult leaves lanceolate or ovate, entire or shallowly lobed throughout; lobes 3 or 4 on each side, obtuse, lobing index 1-1.2; lamina 7.5-14 cm long, 2-4.5 cm wide, 2.5-5.2 times longer than broad, apex acute, base cuneate, oblique part 0-4 mm long, obliqueness index 0-4 percent; petioles 0.4-0.8 cm long, 3-7% length of lamina, prickles absent. Upper leaf surface green; prickles absent; stellate hairs absent, or confined to midrib; ordinary stellae absent from surface; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent. Lower leaf surface yellowish or rusty; prickles absent; stellae dense, 0.1-0.2 mm apart, 0.4-0.5 mm diameter, sessile; lateral rays 7 or 8, porrect; central ray 3-7 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent.

Inflorescence supra-axillary, pseudoracemose, common peduncle 0-3 mm long, rachis prickles absent; 7-20-flowered, with all flowers bisexual and 5-merous; pedicels 4-7 mm long at anthesis, same thickness throughout, 0.25-0.4 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent. Calyx tube 1.5-2 mm long, lobes deltate, 0.5-1.2 mm long; prickles absent at anthesis; stellae dense to very dense, yellow or white, 0.2-0.3 mm across, sessile, lateral rays 5-7, central ray 2-3 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla mauve, 5-7 mm long, deeply lobed, inner surface glabrous; anthers 3-4.5 mm long; ovary with stellate hairs only; functional style 5-7 mm long, erect, with stellate hairs only, stellae 0.2-0.4 mm across, lateral rays 5-7, central ray 0.5-1 times as long as laterals.

Fruiting calyx with lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles absent. Mature fruits 1-3 per inflorescence, globular, 9-12 mm diameter, red, 1-locular (septum absent or incomplete); placenta not apparent; mesocarp juicy, succulent; exocarp c. 0.8 mm thick; pedicels 15-23 mm long in fruit, 0.5-0.8 mm thick at mid-point; seeds pale yellow, 3-3.5 mm long.

Another detailed description of this species by Bean can be accessed on the web at

Distribution and ecology

Found only in northern Cape York Peninsula in Queensland where it occurs from Bamaga through to Temple Bay.

S. fervens is found in siliceous sand dunes in semi-deciduous vineforest; flowers have been recorded March to July and fruits from March to September.


S. fervens is most closely related to S. discolor differing from it by

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. ferocissimum, S. inaequilaterum, S. latens, S. lythrocarpum, S. mentiens, S. parvifolium, S. shirleyanum, S. stelligerum and S. yirrkalense .


An illustration of the species can be seen in A.R.Bean, Austrobaileya 6: 687, f. 17 (2004).


Derivation of epithet

From the Latin ferveo, boiling, a reference to the high temperatures experienced by this species in the extreme north of Australia.

Selected specimens

QLD: N of Olive River, Cape York Peninsula, Sep 1974, L.Webb & Tracey 13480 (BRI, QRS); tributary of Escape River, Jun 1978, J.Clarkson 2086 (BRI); Red Island Point, Bamaga, Sep 1980, V.Scarth-Johnson 1117A (BRI); 3 km NW of Bolt Head, Temple Bay, Jul 1991, P.Forster PIF8968 (AD, BRI, DNA, QRS); 15 km N of Middle Peak road junction, Mar 1992, R.Johnson 5114 (BRI); 0.4 km west of Sach Waterhole, c. 14 km NNW of Ussher Point, Jul 1992, J.Clarkson 9679 & Neldner (AD, BRI, MBA); Bolt Head, Jun 1996, B.Gray 6842, 6875 (BRI, QRS).

As cited by Bean in Austrobaileya 6: 688 (2004).

From the web

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