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