Line drawing by M. Szent Ivany, J. Adelaide Bot. Gards 4 (1981) 185, fig. 74.

Line drawing by G.R.Dashorst, Flora of South Australia 3 (1986) 1265, fig. 576B.

Distribution map generated from Australia's Virtual Herbarium


Solanum lacunarium F. Muell., Trans. Philos. Soc. Victoria 1: 18 (1854): see Taxon 35: 270 for discussion of the date of this publication. 

T: Near the junction of the Darling and Murray Rivers, N.S.W., Dec. 1853, F. Mueller s.n.; lecto: MEL 11745; iso: K; fide D.E. Symon, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard 4: 185 (1981).


Erect or sprawling, clonal, herbaceous perennial to 25 cm, grey-green, pubescent with minute stellate hairs, the hairs sparse on stems and upper leaf-surface; prickles to 5 mm long, abundant on petioles and leaf-surfaces, usually fewer elsewhere.  

Leaves elliptic; lamina 1–9 cm long, 5–30 mm wide, discolorous, shallowly to deeply lobed; lobe margins entire to shallowly lobed; petiole 15–40 mm long.  

Inflorescence 4–10–flowered; peduncle 10–30 mm long; rachis 10–30 mm long, lengthening in fruit; pedicels 8–10 mm long. Calyx 3–5 mm long; lobes triangular, 1–1.5 mm long. Corolla broadly stellate to rotate-pentagonal, 4–5–lobed, 15–30 mm diam., blue. Anthers 3–5 mm long.  

Berry globular to depressed globular, 10–15 mm diam., pale yellow; fruiting axis including peduncle up to 12 cm long. Seeds 3–4 mm long, light grey. n=12.

Distribution and ecology

A species of disjunct distribution, predominantly from the flood plains of the creek systems to the west and north of Lake Eyre, S.A. and into N.T., from parts of the Murray-Darling river system from Dirranbandi in the Maranoa District in Qld, through western N.S.W. and north-western Vic. to the Murray District of S.A.  Dots on the Great Dividing Range in the AVH generated map above, represent misidentifications or wrongly plotted localities.

Usually associated with heavy clay soils of the river flood plains.

Common name

Lagoon Nightshade.


S. stenopterum has been described by Bean (2004) to cover specimens from the Dalby area in SE Qld previously treated as S. lacunarium by Symon (1981). A Kelsey specimen (Kelsey 64) from Dalby was cited by Symon as S. lacunarium and another Kelsey specimen (Kelsey 56) was given as the basis for designating the Qld populations as Vulnerable (see S. stenopterum ).

Part of the S. hystrix group of subgen. Leptostemonum according to Bean (2004).



The leaves are variable, being larger with coarser lobes in westernmost populations, smaller and narrower in eastern populations, but some eastern populations are now removed to S. stenopterum .

Selected specimens

S.A.: Near Berri, Hj. Eichler 13786 (AD); Mundy Creek, D.E. Symon 4046 (AD). N.S.W.: Darling River, Dallachy & Goodwin (MEL 11756); Menindie, P.L. Milthorpe 876 (NSW); Menindie, D.E. Symon 6744 (CANB).


Flora of Australia 29: 140 (1982)


QLD: MARANOA DISTRICT: Dirranbandi, anno 2000, Christodoulou (BRI). New South Wales. NORTH FAR WESTERN PLAINS: Arrara–Lake Eliza, Oct 1912, Boorman s.n. (NSW); Gidgee Tank, Mount Wood, Tibooburra, Oct 1949, Constable 10489 (NSW); floodplain of Cuttaburra Channels, 35 km NE of Yantabulla, Nov 1979, Paijmans 3282 (CANB).

As cited in Bean (2004)


Plant status, if any

S. lacunarium is listed on the Advisory List of Rare or Threatened Plants in Victoria - 2005  as Vulnerable in Victoria.

From the web

A fact sheet for this species can be downloaded from the SA eFlora site and further information on this species in NSW can be seen on the PlantNET site.

An image of the speces can be seen at

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