Line drawing of S. lythrocarpum by W.A.Smith from Austrobaileya 6: 707 (2004). Reproduced with permission.

Distribution map generated from Australia's Virtual Herbarium.


Solanum lythrocarpum A.R.Bean, Austrobaileya 6: 706 (2004).

T: Qld: E of Scrubby Dam,Coominglah State forest, near Monto, 11 Dec 1998, A.R.Bean 14430; holo: BRI; iso: AD, MEL, NSW.

Solanum sp. (Coominglah A.R.Bean 10389) in Henderson, Names Distrib. Qld Plants (2002).


Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.3-0.9 m high. Juvenile stage unknown. Adult branchlets brown; prickles absent or present, 0-6 per decimetre, straight, acicular, 0.5-5 mm long, 7-10 times longer than wide; stellae absent or sparse, 0.2-0.3 mm diameter, stalks 0-0.1 mm long; lateral rays 4-8, porrect; central ray 0.5-1.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs sparse to dense.

Adult leaves narrow lanceolate or lanceolate, entire; lamina 5-9.5 cm long, 1.1-1.5 cm wide, 4.7-7 times longer than broad, apex acute, base cuneate, oblique part 0-2.5 mm long, obliqueness index 0-3 percent; petioles 0.9-2.1 cm long, 11-23% length of lamina, prickles absent or present. Upper leaf surface green; prickles 0-4, straight, acicular, 3-7 mm long, prickles absent or present on mid-vein only; stellate hairs absent, or confined to midrib; ordinary stellae absent from surface; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs present throughout, 0.1-0.5 mm apart. Lower leaf surface green; prickles 0-3, straight, acicular, absent or present on mid-vein only; stellae absent; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent.

Inflorescence leaf-opposed, pseudo-racemose, common peduncle 0-7 mm long, rachis prickles absent; 3-8-flowered, with all flowers bisexual and 4 or 5-merous; pedicels 9-24 mm long at anthesis, same thickness throughout or markedly thicker distally, 0.4-0.7 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent. Calyx tube 1.5-2.5 mm long, lobes attenuate, 2-6 mm long; prickles absent at anthesis; stellae absent to sparse, white, 0.15-0.3 mm across, sessile, lateral rays 4-8, central ray 0-1 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs present. Corolla purple, 7-11 mm long, shallowly or deeply lobed, inner surface glabrous; anthers 3-5 mm long; ovary glabrous, or with Type 2 hairs only; functional style 5.5-7 mm long, erect, glabrous.

Fruiting calyx with lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles absent. Mature fruits 1-4 per inflorescence, globular, 8-11 mm diameter, red, 1-locular (septum absent or incomplete); placenta not apparent; mesocarp juicy, succulent; exocarp 0.4-0.5 mm thick; pedicels 18-24 mm long in fruit, 0.6-0.8 mm thick at mid-point; seeds pale yellow, 3-3.7 mm long.

Bean's original description of S. lythrocarpum, reproduced with permission from Austrobaileya 6: 706 (2004).

Another detailed description of this species by Bean can be found at

Distribution and ecology

Known only from two small areas near the towns of Monto and Mundubbera in theBurnett River area of SE Qld .

Found on lateritised plateaux in ironbark-Acacia blakei forest associated with such species as Croton insularis, Phebalium nottii, Bertya opponens and Philotheca ciliata (Bean 2004).



Close to S. dissectum but differing by the entire rather than lobed leaves, the presence of glandular hairs in all parts where they are lacking in S. dissectum and by the shorter fruiting pedicels (10-19 mm long vs 18-24 mm long for S. dissectum ).

S. lythrocarpum is placed in the S. ferocissimum  group of subgen. Leptostemonum  together with S. chenopodinum, S. corifolium, S. defensum, S. discolor, S. dissectum, S. dryanderense, S. dysprosiumS. ferocissimum, S. fervens, S. inaequilaterum, S. latensS. mentiens, S. parvifolium, S. shirleyanum, S. stelligerum and S. yirrkalense .

Derivation of epithet

From lythron, Greek for blood, and carpos, Greek for fruit, a reference to the bright-red colour of the mature fruits.   


Selected specimens

QLD: BURNETT DISTRICT: Sixteen Mile L.A., Coominglah S.F., south-west of Monto, Mar 1996, A.R.Bean 10155 (BRI); W edge of Bogdanoff L.A., Coominglah S.F., south-west of Monto, Jun 1996, A.R.Bean 10389 (BRI, NSW, MEL); northern boundary of S.F.132, S of Mundubbera, Nov 2002, A.R Bean 19627 (BRI).

Specimens cited in original description by Bean (2004).


Plant status, if any

A category of “Vulnerable” has been recommended since the species is only known from 2 locations and is not found in conserved areas (Bean 2004). 

From the web

An image of the flowers can be seen at

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