Sketch of fruits by D. E. Symon in J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4: 339, fig. 156H (1981) - these could possibly be S. rixosum since some of the material treated as S. furfuraceum by Symon is now treated as S. rixosum.

Distribution map generated from Australia's Virtual Herbarium.


Solanum furfuraceum  R. Br., Prodr. 446 (1810)

T: Qld, Broadsound, Sep 1802, R. Brown s.n.; lecto: BM (Bennett No. 2672); isolecto: MEL 11620 (fide Symon 1981). An image of the type specimen can be seen on the Solanaceae Source site.


Erect shrub to 2 m, dark drab-green, pubescent with stellate hairs, the hairs sparse on upper leaf-surface, moderately dense on lower surface; prickles to 1 cm long, scattered on young growth, absent from mature growth and infloresence.

Leaves discolorous. Mature leaves broadly lanceolate to elliptic; lamina mostly 6-9 cm long, 3-4 cm wide, sometimes larger, entire or shallowly lobed; petiole to 1.5 (4.5) cm long. Juvenile leaves broadly ovate, the lamina up to 17 cm long, 12 cm wide, shallowly lobed; petiole 1-4 cm long.

Inflorescence 3-9-flowered; peduncle to 5 mm long; rachis to 1 cm long, pedicels 8-10 mm long. Calyx 5-8 mm long; lobes lanceolate with linear apices, 4-8 mm long, slightly longer in fruit. Corolla broadly stellate, 25-35 mm diam., bluish-purple. Anthers 4-6 mm long.

Berry globular or depressed globular, 15-20 mm diam., green or yellow-green. Seeds 1.5-2 mm long, pale yellow or brown. n=12.


Description from Flora of Australia 29: 158 (1982). This circumscription includes NSW specimens now referred to S. rixosum.

Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 1–3 m high. Juvenile branchlets with 60–90 prickles per dm; leaves (in outline) ovate, entire or shallowly-lobed, with 2 or 3 pairs of lobes; lamina 6–8 cm long, 2.5–4 cm wide, with 2–10 prickles on upper surface. Adult stems bark furrowed, corky. Adult branchlets brown; prickles absent or present, 0–15 per dm, straight, acicular, 4–10 mm long, 9–12 times longer than wide; stellae dense, 0.4–0.9 mm diameter, stalks 0.1–0.6 mm long; lateral rays 4–8, porrect; central ray 1–1.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent.

Adult leaves ovate, entire; lamina 3–11.5 cm long, 1.1–4.5 cm wide, 2.1–2.7 times longer than broad, apex acute, base cuneate or obtuse, oblique part 0–7 mm long, obliqueness index 0–7 percent; petioles 0.5–1.3 cm long, 8–18% length of lamina, prickles absent. Upper leaf surface green; prickles 0–2, straight, acicular, 5–7 mm long, prickles absent or present on mid-vein only; stellate hairs distributed throughout; proto-stellae present; ordinary stellae density sparse to moderate, 0.4–0.7 mm apart, 0.4–0.8 mm across, stalks 0–0.3 mm long; lateral rays 4–7, porrect to ascending; central ray 1–2 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs present, 0.1–0.3 mm apart, not gland-tipped, 0.1–0.3 mm long; Type 2 hairs absent. Lower leaf surface yellowish or rusty; prickles absent; stellae dense, 0.1–0.3 mm apart, 0.6–1 mm diameter, stalks 0.1–0.7 mm long; lateral rays 4–8, porrect; central ray 1–2 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent.

Inflorescence leaf opposed, pseudo-racemose, common peduncle 9–12 mm long, rachis prickles absent; 5–8- flowered, weakly andromonoecious, flowers 5-merous; pedicels 2–8 mm long at anthesis, same thickness throughout, 0.5–0.7 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent. Calyx tube 1.5–3.5 mm long, lobes deltate or attenuate, 2–5 mm long; prickles absent at anthesis; stellae dense, transparent, 0.5–0.8 mm across, stalks 0–0.2 mm long, lateral rays 4–8, central ray 1–1.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped or gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs present. Corolla mauve or purple, 9–17 mm long, shallowly lobed, inner surface glabrous or sparsely stellate-hairy; anthers 4.5–7 mm long; ovary glabrous; functional style 8.5–10 mm long, erect, glabrous or with stellate hairs only, stellae c. 0.4 mm across, lateral rays c. 4, central ray c. 2 times as long as laterals.

Fruiting calyx with lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles absent. Mature fruits 1–3 per inflorescence, oblate or globular, 15–21 mm diameter, yellowish-green or green, 2-locular; placenta in cross-section stalked, anvil-shaped; mesocarp moist but not juicy; exocarp 2–2.6 mm thick; pedicels 4–8 mm long in fruit, 0.6–0.8 mm thick at mid-point; seeds pale yellow, 2.5–2.6 mm long. Corky Nightshade.

Bean's description of the re-circumscribed S. furfuraceum, reproduced, with permission, from Austrobaileya 6: 766 (2004).

Bean has another more detailed description of this species at< /A>



Distribution and ecology

Originally recorded by Symon (1981) as occurring in higher rainfall areas of Great Dividing Range in eastern Qld and north-eastern N.S.W., usually on margins of rainforest.

Changed circumscription of the species by Bean (2004) now restricts the species to inland coastal Qld from Townsville to Gayndah. Recorded from vine thicket, brigalow (Acacia harpophylla) or Brachychiton rupestris communities or eucalypt woodland.


Solanum furfuraceum is now considered to be restricted to sub-coastal Qld areas (Bean 2004). Specimens previously attributed to it from NSW are now predominantly attributed to S. rixosum .

S. rixosum differs from S. furfuraceum by its

S. furfuraceum is also closely related to S. sporadotrichum . Both species have a corky bark but they differ in the entire leaves of S. furfuraceum, lobed in S. sporadotrichum and the presence of simple glandular hairs on the upper leaf surface of S. furfuraceum, these absent in S. sporadotrichum .


Considered by Bean (2004) to be a member of the S. macoorai group of subgen. Leptostemonum.

Selected specimens

Queensland. NORTH KENNEDY DISTRICT: Wild Horse Mtn, W of Townsville, May 1996, Cumming 14644 (BRI). SOUTH KENNEDY DISTRICT: ‘Havilah’, Dec 1992, Fensham 965 (BRI). LEICHHARDT DISTRICT: Rosedale, near Baralaba, Sep 1959, Johnson 919 (BRI); Dipperu N.P., Sep 1971, McDonald 116 (BRI); Isla Gorge, c. 28 km SW of Theodore, Aug 1973, Sharpe 645 & Hockings (BRI); near Yatton Ck, c. 93 km from Marlborough, Sep 1973, Moriarty 1467 (BRI); ‘Clifton’, northern Boomer Range, Feb 1993, Fensham 717 (BRI); Auburn Range S.F., c. 50 km S of Thangool, Jun 1996, Bean 10339 (BRI, MEL, NSW). PORT CURTIS DISTRICT: Marmor, near Rockhampton, Mar 1920, Francis s.n. (BRI); Callide valley, Apr 1937, White 10773 (BRI); Ogmore, Sep 1943, Blake 15311 (BRI); Jim Crow Mtn, Rockhampton district, Apr 1963, McKee 10272 (BRI); Dan Dan Scrub, S.F.53, 20 km SW of Calliope, Nov 1987, Gibson 1116 (AD, BRI); c. 37 km WSW of Ridgelands, Fitzroy Shire, Apr 1990, Anderson 4846 (BRI); 15 km NE of Biloela, 3 km N of Callide Dam, Jul 1992, Thompson BIL24 (BRI); E boundary of Triangle Creek, Taunton N.P., Oct 1995, Melzer RM632 (BRI); S.F.114, 14 km from top ridge near Fairview HS, Dec 1998, Batianoff 98125 et al. (BRI); western edge of S.F.69, SE of Biloela, Dec 1999, Bean 15928 (BRI, MEL, MO). MARANOA DISTRICT: c. 20 miles [32 km] W of Mitchell, Mar 1950, Everist s.n. (BRI, CANB). BURNETT DISTRICT: Coalstoun crater, Nov 1970, Bell 263 (BRI); Mt Blandy, Burnett River, Dec 1981, Forster 1051 (BRI); c. 15 km NW of Abercorn, near S edge of Coominglah S.F., Jan 2003, Bean 19727 (BRI).

Specimens cited by Bean (2004)



From the web

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

Images of the fruit, bark and upper leaf surface can be accessed through Bean's descriptionof this species at

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