Solanum nemophilum F. Muell., Fragm. Phytogr. Austral. 2: 161 (1861) 

S. nemophilum var. typicum Domin, Biblioth. Bot. 89: 584 (1929) nom. illeg. 

T: Between the Mackenzie and Dawson Rivers, Qld, coll. unknown; lecto: MEL 12201; iso: K; fide D.E. Symon, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4: 144 (1981).


Shrub to 1.5 m, drab green, densely pubescent with stellate hairs; prickles generally absent, occasionally present on stems.  

Leaves elliptic, ovate-lanceolate or rarely ovate; lamina mostly 3–6 cm long, 1.5–2.5 cm wide, slightly discolorous, entire; petiole 5–10 mm long.  

Inflorescence short, 1–4–flowered; peduncle to 5 mm long; pedicels c. 5 mm long. Calyx 5–8 mm long; lobes linear-oblong or narrowly triangular, 2–5 mm long, slightly enlarged in fruit. Corolla stellate, shallowly incised, 15–25 mm diam., purple-blue. Anthers 3–5 mm long.  

Berry globular, 5–8 mm diam., bright red, more or less covered by calyx-lobes. Seeds c. 2 mm long, pale. n=12.

Flora of Australia 29: 129 (1981)

The description of this species by Bean (2004) is reproduced here with permission. The species concept of Bean is narrower than that of Symon and species treated as S. nemophilum by Symon are now also encompassed in S. hapalum and S. innoxium .

Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.3–0.6 m high. Juvenile branchlets with 0–5 prickles per dm, 2–3 mm long; leaves (in outline) ovate, entire; lamina c. 4 2 cm, with 0–4 prickles on upper surface. Adult stem prickles absent. Adult branchlets white or grey; prickles absent; stellae very dense, 0.3–1 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.6 mm long; lateral rays 7 or 8, porrect; central ray 0.7–1.2 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent.

Adult leaves ovate, entire; lamina 2.5–7 cm long, 1.2–2.8 cm wide, 1.8–3 times longer than broad, apex obtuse or acute, base obtuse or cordate, oblique part 0–3 mm long, obliqueness index 0–5 percent; petioles 0.4–1.4 cm long, 15–35% length of lamina, prickles absent. Upper leaf surface grey-green; prickles absent; stellate hairs distributed throughout; protostellae absent; ordinary stellae dense, 0.1–0.3 mm apart, 0.4–0.7 mm across, stalks 0.1–0.3 mm long; lateral rays 7 or 8, porrect; central ray 0.7–1.8 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent. Lower leaf surface green or yellowish; prickles absent; stellae dense to very dense, 0.05–0.15 mm apart, 0.5–0.7 mm diameter, stalks 0.2–0.4 mm long; lateral rays 7 or 8, porrect; central ray 0.5–1.2 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent.

Inflorescence supra-axillary, pseudo-umbellate, common peduncle 0–3 mm long; 3–5-flowered, with all flowers bisexual and 4 or 5-merous; pedicels 4–7 mm long at anthesis, same thickness throughout, 0.9–1 mm thick at midpoint, prickles absent. Calyx tube 1–2 mm long, lobes elliptic, 2.5–7 mm long; prickles absent at anthesis; stellae very dense, white, 0.4–1 mm across, stalks 0–0.25 mm long, lateral rays 7 or 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, rotate or shallowly lobed, inner surface glabrous; anthers 3–4 mm long; ovary with Type 2 hairs only; functional style 5.5–8 mm long, erect, with Type 2 hairs only.

Fruiting calyx with lobes exceeding mature fruit, prickles absent. Mature fruits 1 per inflorescence, globular, 4.5–9 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 0.2–0.25 mm thick; pedicels 6–11 mm long in fruit, 0.8–1.2 mm thick at mid-point; seeds pale yellow, 2–2.3 mm long. 

Distribution and ecology

Occurs on western slopes of ranges in south-eastern Qld, and rarely from north-eastern N.S.W., on stony outcrops, in granitic and basaltic soil. Associated with margins of vine forest, brigalow and lancewood (Acacia spp.) and Eucalypt woodland.


Closely related to S. densevestitum F. Muell. ex Benth.; distinguished by generally smaller parts, especially calyx-lobes, and denser tomentum (Symon 1981).


Treated as part of the S. densevestitum group of the subg. Leptostemonum (Bean 2004), together with S. gympiense, S. hapalum, S. innoxium, S. densevestitum, S. johnsonianum and S. ultimum .


Bean's (2004) treatment of this species is narrower than that given in Purdie et al. (1982). In Bean's concept, S. nemophilum is confined to Qld and distinguished from the other 6 species of the S. densevestitum group by the possession of a stellate hair type on both surfaces of the leaves in which the stalk is long and the lateral arms of the stellate hair are similar in length to the central one.


Specimens previously attributed to S. nemophilum in Symon (1981) and Purdie et al. (1982) are now treated as S. hapalum and S. innoxium .


The illustration (fig. 52, p. 145) labelled as S. nemophilum in Symon (1981) is S. tetrathecum .


Selected specimens

Qld: Hannaford, T.J. McDonald 63 (BRI) = S. innoxium Bean. N.S.W.: c. 48 km NE of Glen Innes, 24 Apr. 1956, E.F. Constable (NSW) = S. hapalum Bean.

Specimens cited in Flora of Australia treatment (1981)


QLD: LEICHHARDT DISTRICT: Duaringa, Mar 1909, J.H.Maiden s.n. (NSW); Blackdown Tableland, c. 35 km SE of Blackwater, Sep 1971, R.Henderson H1094 et al. (BRI, CANB); top ofCarnarvon Range, N of Injune, Sep 2003, A.R.Bean 20760 (BRI). PORT CURTIS DISTRICT: S.F.69 Dawes Range, SE of Biloela, Dec 1999, A.R.Bean 15933 (BRI). BURNETT DISTRICT: c. 14 km NNE of Eidsvold, Oct 1993, B.J.Lepschi & Slee 1215 (AD, BRI, CANB); c. 9.2 km NE of Durong on slopes above Hardy Creek, Jul 1998, Pollock ABP715 & Dean (BRI); Schellbachs road, Kingaroy, Mar 1999, Haskard 17 (AD, BRI); Hurdle Gully road, Coominglah S.F., W of Monto, Jan 2000, A.R.Bean 15934 (BRI). DARLING DOWNS DISTRICT: 6 miles [10 km] S of Warwick on Stanthorpe road, Nov 1946, S.L.Everist & Webb 1258 (BRI); 25 miles [40 km] WNW of Dalby on road to Kogan, Oct 1969, S.L.Everist s.n. (BRI); Amiens, 10 miles [16 km] NW of Stanthorpe, Jul 1974, Swan 71 (BRI); Centenary road, W of Goombungee, May 1997, A.R.Bean 12000 (BRI); S.F.197 Diamondy, 32 km NE of Jandowae, Mar 1999, P.Forster PIF24090 & Booth (AD, BRI, MEL); Bony Mountain, 14 km SW of Allora, Aug 1999, A.R.Bean 15259 (BRI); Wondul Range N.P., SW of Milmerran, Nov 1999, A.R.Bean 15888 (BRI). MORETON DISTRICT: Tarampa, undated, Bailey s.n. (BRI); Falls Creek, 4.5 km NW of West Haldon, May 1987, P.Forster 2940 & Bird (BRI); Scanlon scrub, Mount Berryman, 15 km SW of Laidley, Aug 1990, Bird (BRI); near High Camp, 11 km SE of Cooyar, Feb 2000, A.R.Bean 16048 (BRI).

Specimens cited by Bean (2004).


From the web

Images of the flowers, foliage and fruit can be seen on Bean's DELTA site at

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