Line drawing by M. Szent Ivany, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4 (1981) 222, fig. 94.

Detail of  fruit by M. Szent Ivany, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4 (1981) 222, fig. 94.

Sketch of calyx-enclosed  fruit by D. E. Symon, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4 (1981), fig. 154I.

Distribution map generated from Australia's Virtual Herbarium.


Solanum gilesii Symon, Trans. Roy. Soc. S. Austral. 95: 229; fig. 3 (1971)

T: c. 11 km W of Dovers Hills, northern Gibson Desert, W.A., 27 July 1967, A.S. George 9014; holo: PERTH.


Spreading or erect clonal shrub to 50 cm, brownish-green, the young parts rusty red or orange-brown; densely pubescent with stellate hairs, the peduncles woolly; prickles to 8 mm long, usually scattered on stems, abundant on calyx, few or absent elsewhere.  

Leaves ovate to ovate-oblong; lamina mostly 2–4 cm long, 1–3 cm wide, slightly discolorous, undulate to shallowly lobed; petiole to 10 mm long.  

Inflorescence short, 1–3–flowered; peduncle to 5 mm long; pedicels 5–10 mm long. Calyx 6–10 mm long, enlarged in fruit; lobes triangular, 1–4 mm long. Corolla rotate-pentagonal, 25 mm diam., purple. Anthers 7–8 mm long.

Berry globular, c. 10 mm diam., drab bone-coloured; fruiting pedicels 10–15 mm long; fruiting calyx 10–15 mm diam. Seeds 3 mm long, pale.

Distribution and ecology

Occurs mostly in drier areas of central-eastern W.A. and central-western N.T., on sand plains and sand dunes.


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


Distinct by the orange-brown or ferruginous hairs on the young growth and calyces.

The fruits of this species are eaten by the Pintupi and Warlpiri people of central Australia (see P.K. Latz (1995). Bushfires & Bushtucker. Aboriginal Plant Use in Central Australia. IAD Press, Alice Springs).


Selected specimens

W.A.: NE of Sir Frederick Range, A.S. George 8909 (PERTH); 61 km S of Sturt Creek Homestead, P.K. Latz 4035 (AD: 2 sheets, CANB, DNA, PERTH); 155 km S of Halls Creek, J.H. Willis 24 (MEL).

Plant status, if any

Conservation status as a plant of least concern in theNorthern Territorysee

From the web

Further information and images for this species in WA can be found on the FloraBase site.