Springbrook, Qld. Photo: G. Leiper G. Leiper

near O'Reilly's Lodge, Lamington NP, Qld. Photo: T. Low T. Low

Line drawing by M. Szent Ivany, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4 (1981) 244, fig. 107.

Distribution map generated from Australia's Virtual Herbarium.


Solanum inaequilaterum Domin, Biblioth. Bot. 89: 581 (1929)

T: Near Beech Mtns, southern Qld, Mar. 1910, K. Domin s.n.; ?PR n.v. Bean (2004) was also unable to locate the type in PR.

S. sporadotrichum auct. non F. Muell.: J.H. Maiden & E. Betche, Census New South Wales Pl. 181 (1916)



Shrub to 3.5 m, green or dark green, the young leaves often purplish; leaves sparsely pubescent with stellate hairs, the hairs rarely dense on lower surface; simple and glandular hairs also on pedicel and calyx; prickles 2–12 mm long, dense on main stems, scattered to abundant on leaves and peduncle, absent from pedicel and calyx.  

Leaves elliptic or ovate, concolorous. Juvenile leaves with lamina 16-24 cm long and 9-14 cm wide, deeply lobed; petiole to 5 cm long. Mature leaves with lamina 4–19 cm long, 2–7.5 cm wide, entire to shallowly lobed; petiole 1–3 cm long.  

Inflorescence often congested, 1–13–flowered; peduncle 10–15 mm long; pedicels 5–24 mm long. Calyx 8–10 mm long; lobes linear-lanceolate, 5–8 mm long. Corolla broadly stellate, 25–35 mm diam., blue. Anthers 4.5–6 mm long.  

Berry globular to slightly ovoid, 10–20 mm diam., red; fruiting pedicel 26–40 mm long, thickened in upper half. Seeds 2.5–3.5 mm long, pale or light brown. n=12. [some measurements modified after Bean 2004].

Bean's more detailed description of this species can be found at

Distribution and ecology

Occurs in higher rainfall areas of south-eastern Qld and north-eastern N.S.W., from Springbrook to Dorrigo. Often found at altitudes above 750 m.

Common name

The common name Gin's Whiskers applies to this species according to Bean (2004) but Symon (1981) lists it as the common name for S. macoorai.


Closely related to S. macoorai Bailey, but distinguished by the smaller stature, deeply lobed juvenile leaves, multicelled glandular hairs on pedicels and calyx, and scarlet fruit according to Symon (1981).


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


Bean suggested the closest relationships of S. inaequilaterum was to the newly described S. dysprosium from Cape York Peninsula. It differs from S. dysprosium by its

·         distribution,

·         larger leaves,

·         petioles without prickles,

·         longer calyx lobes and

·         the peduncle with flowers along its length compared with the peduncle of S. dysprosium which is flowerless for up to 3.5 cm from the base.























Selected specimens

Qld: Levers Plateau, R.J. Henderson 1304 (AD, BRI, NSW). N.S.W.: Wiangarie State Forest, L. Haegi 1533 (NSW).

From the web

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

An image of the fruits and foliage can be seen in the Bean treatment of the eastern Australian species of Solanum at

Further information on this species in NSW can be seen on the PlantNET site

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