Photo: M. Fagg M. Fagg

Mt Annan Botanic Gardens, NSW. Photo: M. Fagg M. Fagg

Canberra, ACT. Photo: T. Low T. Low

Illustration by G.Dashorst, reproduced from D.E.Symon's Kangaroo Apples (1994), plate 7.

Line drawing by M. Szent Ivany, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4 (1981) 82, fig. 20.

Distribution map generated from Australia's Virtual Herbarium.


Solanum linearifolium Geras. ex Symon, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4: 81, fig. 20 (1981) 

T: Lake George, N.S.W., 20 Mar. 1964, M. Gray & E. D'Arnay 5445; holo: CANB, iso: AD, OTA.


Erect shrub to 4 m, green, sparsely pubescent with minute, simple and glandular hairs on leaves, growing points, calyx and corolla apices; prickles absent.  

Lobed leaves broadly elliptic to ovate; lamina 15-40 cm long, concolorous, deeply lobed; lobes 2-12 cm long, 0.5-1 cm wide; petiole up to 15 mm long. Entire leaves narrowly elliptic to linear, mostly 5-10 cm long, 5-10 mm wide, concolorous; petiole short, decurrent as raised line.  

Inflorescence up to 10-flowered; peduncle absent or to 8 mm long; rachis up to 10 cm long, occasionally forked at base; pedicels 2-4 cm long. Calyx 3-5 mm long; lobes triangular, 1-2 mm long. Corolla broady rotate-stellate to pentagonal, 25-45 mm diam., intense purple-violet. Anthers 3 mm long.  

Berry globular to slightly ovoid, 1.5-2 cm diam., ochre-yellow and reddish-purple in upper half. Seeds 2-2.5 mm long, pale buff to light grey. Stone-cell granules 2-4 mm long. n=23.

Distribution and ecology

An Australian endemic, S. linearifolium is one of the Kangaroo Apples or subg. Archaeosolanum

It occurs in eastern N.S.W. and eastern Vic. on coastal ranges and tablelands, often in disturbed habitats along forest margins, tracks and road verges, rocky outcrops, creeks and river gorges.


One of the Kangaroo Apples or subg. Archaeosolanum. Further information about this group of species can be found in Symon (1994).  

Closely related to S. laciniatum Aiton, S. aviculare and S. vescum F. Muell.

Reference: Symon, D.E. (1994). Kangaroo apples: Solanum sect. Archaesolanum. Published by the author:Keswick, South Australia.


Further information about this species can be found in D.E.Symon (1994). Kangaroo apples: Solanum sect. Archaesolanum. (D.E.Symon: Adelaide).


Asphondylia paucidentata Kolesik, a gall midge, causes galls in the fruits of S. aviculare and S. linearifolium.

Reference: Kolesik, P., McFadyen, R.E.C. & Wapshere, A.J. (2000). New gall midges (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) infesting native and introduced Solanum spp. (Solanaceae) in Australia. R. Soc. S. Aust. 124(1): 31-36.


Selected specimens

N.S.W.: Burragorang Lookout, E.F. Constable 5672 (BRI, NSW); Lake George, M. Gray & B. Gray 3938 (CANB). Vic.: East Gippsland, A.C. Beauglehole 37202 & K.C. Rogers (MEL).

Plant status, if any

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

From the web

Photographs can be seen at and while a line drawing can be downloaded from

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.