Photo: J.H. Browne, with collection J.H. Browne 315 (AD)

Line drawing by M. Szent Ivany, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4 (1981) 209, fig. 87 .

Distribution map generated from Australia's Virtual Herbarium .


Solanum karsense Symon, Trans. Roy. Soc. S. Austral. 95: 230; fig. 4 (1971) (as "karsensis")


T: 'Tara Downs', Wentworth, N.S.W., Dec. 1961, A. Smith s.n.; holo: NSW 59352.


Clonal, herbaceous perennial to 30 cm, grey-green, densely pubescent with stellate hairs; prickles to 15 mm long, pubescent in lower half, usually scattered on stems, rare or absent elsewhere.

Leaves ovate; lamina 15–30 mm long, 10–20 mm wide, sometimes larger, slightly discolorous, undulate to shallowly lobed; petiole 3–10 mm long.  

Inflorescence up to 12–flowered; peduncle usually to 10 mm long; rachis 1–2 cm long, sometimes up to 4 cm; pedicels 4–5 mm long, lengthening in fruit. Calyx 5–10 mm long; lobes triangular, 2–5 mm long; tube enlarged in fruit. Corolla shallowly campanulate-rotate, 20–35 mm diam., purple. Anthers 3–4 mm long. Fruiting calyx 7–10 mm diam., covering fruit, but often torn.  

Berry globular, c. 7 mm diam., white with green stripes; fruiting pedicels 10–15 mm long. Seeds 4–5 mm long, dark. n=12.

Distribution and ecology

Restricted to south-western plains of N.S.W., occurring in occasionally flooded depressions in clay or red sand. Apparently becoming weedy in recent years.

Common name

Menindee nightshade


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



There is a collection of this species by Charles Sturt in the Natural History Museum, London - see Solanaceae Source

Derivation of epithet

The specific epithet is a reference to Kars Station in NSW where some of the early collections of the species were made.

The epithet was spelt "karsensis" in the protologue, but has since been corrected to "karsense".

Selected specimens

N.S.W.: Lake Tandau, 16 Dec. 1974, A.D. Mears & D.E. Wallin (NSW); Kars Stn, R. Pearce 63 (AD, CANB, NSW).

Plant status, if any

Information on Solanum karsense as a vulnerable species in New South Wales can be found in the Schedules of the Threatened Species Conservation Act on the web page of NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service


It is also listed under the Australian Government's EPBC Act - see

From the web

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

A fact sheet for Solanum karsense as a vulnerable species in NSW can be found on the web page of NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

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