Solanum mitchellianum Domin, Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 12: 131 (1913).

T: Suptropical NewHolland, 1846, T.Mitchell s.n.; lecto: K; isolecto: BM, L; fide Symon (1981). An image of the isolectotype specimen can be seen on the Solanaceae Source site.

S. semiarmatum auct. non F.Muell.; Symon, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4: 125 (1981), p.p.; Purdie et al., Fl. Austral. 29: 124(1982), p.p.


Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.5-1.8 m high. Juvenile branchlets with 240-1400 prickles per dm; leaves (in outline) ovate, deeply lobed, with 3 or 4 pairs of lobes; lamina c. 11.5 ? 8 cm, with c. 40 prickles on upper surface. Adult branchlets terete or ridged, green; prickles 240-1400 per decimetre, straight, acicular, 1-10 mm long, 14-20 times longer than wide; stellae dense, 0.4-0.7 mm diameter, stalks 0-0.15 mm long; lateral rays 6-8, porrect; central ray 0.5-1 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs sparse.

Adult leaves ovate, entire or shallowly lobed throughout; lobes 3 or 4 on each side, acute or obtuse, lobing index 1-1.9; lamina 5.5-10.5 cm long, 1.8-6.5 cm wide, 1.5-3 times longer than broad, apex acute, base obtuse or cordate, oblique part 0-3.5 mm long, obliqueness index 0-5 percent; petioles 1.1-2.8 cm long, 18-30% length of lamina, prickles present. Upper leaf surface green; prickles 8- 20, straight, acicular, 1-8 mm long, prickles present on mid-vein and lateral veins; stellate hairs distributed throughout; proto-stellae absent; ordinary stellae very sparse to moderate density, 1-3 mm apart, 0.25-0.7 mm across, stalks 0-0.1 mm long; lateral rays 4-8, porrect; central ray 0.8-1.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs present only in vein depressions. Lower leaf surface white; prickles 2-10, straight, acicular, present on mid-vein only or present on mid-vein and lateral veins; stellae very dense, c. 0.05 mm apart, 0.5-0.8 mm diameter, stalks 0-0.3 mm long; lateral rays 7-9, porrect; central ray 1-1.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent.

Inflorescence supra-axillary, pseudo-racemose or 2-3-branched, common peduncle 21-40 mm long, rachis prickles present; 7-25- flowered, with all flowers bisexual and 5- merous; pedicels 3-6 mm long at anthesis, same thickness throughout or markedly thicker distally, 0.3-0.6 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent or present. Calyx tube 0.5-1.5 mm long, lobes hemispherical, deltate or attenuate, 2-3.5 mm long; prickles absent at anthesis; stellae moderate to dense, transparent, 0.25-0.5 mm across, sessile, lateral rays 5-8, central ray 0.8-1.2 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla purple, 7-10 mm long, deeply lobed, inner surface glabrous; anthers 3.5-5.5 mm long; ovary glabrous or with stellate hairs only; functional style 6.5-8.5 mm long, erect, glabrous or with stellate hairs only, stellae c. 0.4 mm across, lateral rays c. 8, central ray c. 1 times as long as laterals.

Fruiting calyx with lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles absent. Mature fruits 7-17 per inflorescence, globular, 8-9 mm diameter, black, 1-locular (septum absent or incomplete); placenta not apparent; mesocarp juicy, succulent; exocarp 0.1-0.2 mm thick; pedicels 8-10 mm long in fruit, 0.8-0.9 mm thick at midpoint; seeds brown to black, 1.8-2.4 mm long.

Description reproduced from Bean, Austrobaileya 6: 714 (2004), with permission.

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

Distribution and ecology

Occurs from Springsure and Blackwater in SE Qld to Warialda in N NSW.

It usually occurs in rocky outcrops in vine thickets, brigalow-belah associations eucalypts woodlands. Flowering all months; fruiting September to April. Further information about associated species can be found in Curran et al (2008).  

Reference: T.J. Curran, P. J. Clarke & J.H. Bruhl (2008). A broad typology of dry rainforests on the western slopes ofNew South Wales. Cunninghamia 10(3): 381–405.


Previously treated as part of S. semiarmatum but now considered by Bean (2004) to be distinct by its

The two species overlap in distribution in SE Qld andNE NSW but S. mitchellianum has a wider distribution into Qld occurring as far north as Springsure.

Both species are part of the S. semiarmatum group of subgen. Leptostemonum, together with S. coracinum , according to Bean (2004).  

Derivation of epithet

Named for the collector of the type collection, surveyor-general and explorer, Sir Thomas Livingstone Mitchell (1792-1855).


Selected specimens

QLD: LEICHHARDT DISTRICT: Moolyamba Gorge, Carnarvon Ranges, Sep 1940, White 11361 (BRI); ‘Rosedale’ near Baralaba, Sep 1959, Johnson 917 (BRI); Pegunny North, c. 55 km W of Moura, May 1962, Johnson 2289 (BRI); Injune–Rolleston road, c. 77 km from Injune, Sep 1974, Moriarty 1558 (BRI, CANB); Little St Peter, 10 miles [16 km] N of Springsure, Sep 1985, O’Keeffe 783 (BRI); Nathan Gorge, SW of Cracow, Aug 1990, Forster PIF7188 (BRI, MEL); Bunbuncundoo Spring, Ka Ka Mundi N.P., Sep 1993, Purdie 4339 (BRI, CANB); Auburn Range S.F., Jun 1996, Bean 10338 (BRI, MEL, NSW); 14.8 km along Arcturus Road, NE of Springsure, Oct 1998, Bean 14009 (BRI); Expedition N.P., Amphitheatre section, Nov 1998, Forster PIF23862 & Booth (AD, BRI, K, MEL, NSW, QRS); Zamia Creek, Palmgrove N.P., Sep 2000, Forster PIF26109 et al. (AD, BRI, MEL); Brigalow Research Station, SW of Moura, Dec 2001, Bean 18256 (BRI, MEL).PORT CURTIS DISTRICT: Callide Valley, Apr 1937, White 11184 (BRI). WARREGO DISTRICT: ‘Carnarvon’ Station, Mar 2001, Fensham 4225 (BRI). MARANOA DISTRICT: Kenniff Lookout, c. 80 km SW of Rolleston, Jun 1977, Crisp 3084 (AD, BRI, CANB); ‘Stanhope Downs’, c. 44 km by road NW of Roma on Orallo Road, Dec 1997, Thomas 1267 (BRI). BURNETT DISTRICT: Dingo Trap track, ‘Narayen’, Dec 1973, Leach N1496 (BRI); Monogorilby, Mundubbera shire, Jan 1982, Forster 1105 (BRI). DARLING DOWNS DISTRICT: Chinchilla, Jul 1912, Beasley 3 (BRI); ‘Wyaga’, Goondiwindi district, Sep 1919, White s.n. (BRI); Cooranga North, Apr 1925, White 2490 (BRI); ‘Calala’, c. 10 miles [16 km] E of Meandarra, Apr 1960, Johnson 1620 (BRI); 2.5 km SSW of Gladfield, Jun 1986, Forster PIF2474 et al. (BRI). NSW: NORTH WEST SLOPES: 7 miles [11 km] from Crooble on Warialda road, Sep 1950, Roe 258 (CANB); 7.5 km NW of North Star, Sep 1988, C.W.E Moore 8689 (BRI, CANB); ‘Warivan’, 7.4 km from North Star on road to Warialda, Sep 1988, C.W.E.Moore 8835 (CANB).

Specimens of S. mitchellianum cited by Bean (2004). These have been reproduced here because they would have previously been treated as S. semiarmatum and there is overlap in distribution between the two species.

From the web

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

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.