Illustration by W.A.Smith, reproduced with permission from Austrobaileya 6: 704 (2004).

Distribution map generated from Australia's Virtual Herbarium.


Solanum latens A.R.Bean, Austrobaileya 6: 703 (2004).

T: Qld, Conservation Gully, 'Narayen', W of Mundubbera, 16 Dec 2001, A.R.Bean 18292; holo: BRI; iso: AD, MEL, NSW.


Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.4-1.1 m high. Juvenile branchlets with 35-50 prickles per dm, 3-6 mm long; leaves (in outline) linear-hastate, shallowly to deeply lobed, with 1 or 2 pairs of lobes; lamina 2.5-4.5 cm long, 0.5-1.3 cm wide, with 9-16 prickles on upper surface. Adult branchlets green; prickles 15-30 per decimetre, straight, acicular, 5-9 mm long, 13-18 times longer than wide; stellae sparse, 0.25-0.5 mm diameter, sessile; lateral rays 4-7, porrect; central ray 0.5-1 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs sparse.

Adult leaves narrow lanceolate or lanceolate, entire or shallowly lobed throughout or with basal lobes only; lobes 1 or 2 on each side, obtuse, lobing index 1-1.2; lamina 1.5-4.5 cm long, 0.3-0.8 cm wide, 4.5-7.5 times longer than broad, apex obtuse or acute, base cuneate or hastate, oblique part 0-2.5 mm long, obliqueness index 0-6 percent; petioles 0.3-0.6 cm long, 8-16% length of lamina, prickles absent. Upper leaf surface green; prickles 2-6, straight, acicular, 4-6 mm long, prickles present on mid-vein only; stellate hairs confined to midrib, or distributed throughout; proto-stellae absent; ordinary stellae very sparse to sparse, 0.8-2.5 mm apart, 0.35-0.5 mm across, sessile; lateral rays 4-7, porrect; central ray 1.5-3 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent. Lower leaf surface green; prickles 0-3, straight, acicular, absent or present on mid-vein only; stellae very sparse to moderate, 0.3-2 mm apart, 0.3-0.7 mm diameter, sessile; lateral rays 6-8, porrect; central ray 1.5-3 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent.

Inflorescence supra-axillary, solitary or pseudo-umbellate, common peduncle 0-2 mm long; 1-3-flowered, with all flowers bisexual and 5-merous; pedicels 8-18 mm long at anthesis, same thickness throughout, c. 0.3 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent or present. Calyx tube 1.5-2 mm long, lobes attenuate, 1.5-2.5 mm long; prickles absent at anthesis; stellae sparse to moderate, transparent, 0.2-0.4 mm across, sessile, lateral rays 6-8, central ray 0.8-1.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla mauve, 6-8 mm long, deeply lobed, inner surface glabrous; anthers 3-4.5 mm long; ovary with Type 2 hairs only; functional style 4-6 mm long, erect, with Type 2 hairs only.

Fruiting calyx with lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles absent. Mature fruits 1 per inflorescence, globular, 4-6.5 mm diameter, red, glabrous or with a few scattered Type 2 hairs, 1-locular (septum absent or incomplete); placenta not apparent; mesocarp juicy, succulent; exocarp 0.2-0.3 mm thick; pedicels 14-24 mm long in fruit, 0.5-0.6 mm thick at mid-point; seeds pale yellow, 1.6-2.3 mm long.

Original description by Bean, reproduced, with permission, from Austrobaileya 6: 703 (2004).

Another detailed descriptionof this species by Bean can be found at

Distribution and ecology

An endemic south-eastern Queensland species occurring between Duaringa and Warra and also near Kingaroy.


S. latens is most closely related to S. ferocissimum and is part of the S. ferocissimum group of subgen. Leptostemonum according to Bean (2004).

It differs by from S. ferocissimum by its smaller and broader leaves, the fewer number of flowers in the inflorescence, smaller seeds and in the morphology of the stellate hairs.

Derivation of epithet

The Latin latens means secret or hidden, a reference to the late recognition of the species, with most collections being recent.


Selected specimens

QLD: LEICHHARDT DISTRICT: ‘Kooralbyn’, c. 25 km S of Duaringa, Feb 2003, A.R.Bean 19985 (BRI,CANB, MO). BURNETT DISTRICT: Kingaroy, Apr 1947, Smith 3004 (BRI); c. 14 km NNE of Eidsvold, Oct 1993, B.Lepschi & Slee 1216 (BRI, CANB); Semgreen Road, SSE of Kingaroy, Mar 2001, A.R.Bean 17428 (BRI, CANB, MEL, NSW); Goodger Gully Rd, SSE of Kingaroy, Mar 2001, A.R.Bean 17432 (BRI, NSW); Kunioon West, S of Kingaroy, Nov 2001, A.R.Bean 18121 (BRI); Valley Dam paddock, ‘Narayen’, W of Mundubbera, Dec 2001, A.R.Bean 18295 (BRI, MEL, NSW); S.F.227, c. 30 km E of Cracow, Jul 2002, A.R.Bean 19129 (B, BRI, CANB, L, MEL); S.F.132 Allies Creek, c. 55 km S of Mundubbera, Nov 2002, A.R.Bean 19610 (BRI, MEL). DARLING DOWNS DISTRICT: Burraburri Creek, 16 km W of Durong, May 1992, P.Forster PIF9857 (AD, BRI); 3.8 km NE of Warra, on Marnhull road, Feb 2003, A.R.Bean 19961 (BRI, NSW).

Specimens cited by Bean (2004) when first describing S. latens.

From the web

An image of the leaves and fruits can be seen at

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

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