Photo: B. Fuhrer B. Fuhrer (Permission to be sought from Bruce for use - used in family key)

Simpson Desert. Photo: A. Robinson A. Robinson

Photo: A. Robinson A. Robinson

Photo: A. Robinson A. Robinson

Line drawing by M. Szent Ivany, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4 (1981) 207, fig. 86.

Distribution map generated from Australia's Virtual Herbarium.


Solanum oligacanthum F. Muell, Trans. Philos. Soc. Victoria 1: 19 (1854): see Taxon 35: 270 for discussion of the date of this publication.  

T: Central Australia, C. Sturt s.n.; holo: MEL 11991; iso: BM. An image


Erect, clonal, herbaceous perennial herb or subshrub to 1 m, pale grey-green, densely pubescent with minute stellate hairs; prickles to 16 mm long, often pubescent in lower half, on stems, sometimes paired at base of petiole, generally absent elsewhere.  

Leaves broadly ovate; lamina 8–20 mm long, 7–20 mm, wide, sometimes larger, concolorous to slightly discolorous, entire or shallowly lobed at base; petiole 1–5 mm long.  

Inflorescence short, 1–6–flowered; peduncle to 10 mm long; pedicels 4–5 mm long. Calyx 5–8 mm long; lobes triangular, 2–3.5 mm long. Corolla rotate, 20–25 mm diam., lavender-blue. Anthers 4–5 mm long.  

Berry globular or depressed globular, 4–10 mm diam., pale yellow. Seeds 4–5 mm long, black or dark brown. n=12.

A more comprehensive description can be found at

Distribution and ecology

Occurs mainly in south-western Qld, north-western N.S.W. and north-eastern S.A.; established as a weed in southern S.A.  

Usually associated with seasonally flooded creek channels, flats and lagoons.


Part of the S. esuriale group of subgen. Leptostemonum according to Bean (2004).


As with a number of Solanum species this one has been recorded as having populations in which  50% of the flowers are white (P. Conrick 1358 (AD) from Lake Eyre region).


Selected specimens

S.A.: Coopers Creek, R. Hill 473 (AD); 23 km SW of Etadunna Homestead, M. Lazarides 8372 (CANB); N of Tinga Tingana on road to Gidgealpa, D.E. Symon 5891 (AD). Qld: W of Durrie, S.L. Everist & L.S. Smith 82 (BRI). N.S.W.: Sturt National Park, K. Wilson 1657 (NSW).

From the web

Further information on this species in NSW can be seen on the PlantNET site and a fact sheet can be downloaded from the SA eFlora site.

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