Line drawing by M. Szent Ivany, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4 (1981) 159, fig. 58.

Distribution map generated from Australia's Virtual Herbarium.


Solanum orbiculatum subsp. macrophyllum Symon, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4: 158; figs 48, 58 (1981) 

T: Dean Range, W.A., Aug. 1967, S. Smith-White s.n.; holo: ADW  33384 (now in AD).


Erect or rounded, clonal shrub to 1.5 m, grey-green, rarely yellow-green, all parts loosely pubescent with stellate hairs; prickles absent, if present 5–15 mm long, sparsely scattered on stems.  

Leaves usually ovate, concolorous; lamina 30–60 mm long, 20–30 mm wide, entire; petiole 5–20 mm long.  

Inflorescence 1–4–flowered; peduncle to 10 mm long; rachis 3–5 mm long, pedicels 5–12 mm long. Calyx 4–7 mm long; lobes broadly triangular, 1–2 mm long, slightly elongated in fruit. Corolla stellate, 20–25 mm diam., violet. Anthers 5–7 mm long.  

Berry globular, 10–15 mm diam., yellow-ivory, drying dark brown. Seeds 2–3 mm long, pale brown. n=12.

Distribution and ecology

Confined to western parts of the central Australian ranges in N.T. and W.A., in rocky habitats.


Distinct from subsp. orbiculatum by its usually ovate leaves, 3-6 cm long and 2-3 cm wide, its loose pubescence and grey-green overall appearance.

Considered by Bean (2004) to be a member of the S. esuriale group of subgen. Leptostemonum.


Fresh fruit eaten by Aborigines.

Germination studies for mine regeneration or the native food industry indicated that germination of seed of this species is promoted with gibberellic acid, smoke water or the smoke isolate, karrikinolide.

Reference: Commander LE, Merritt DJ, Rokich DP, Flematti GR & Dixon KW (2008). Seed germination of Solanum spp. (Solanaceae) for use in rehabilitation and commercial industries . Australian Journal of Botany 56, 333–341.


Selected specimens

W.A.: 58 km S of Carnarvon, D.E. Symon 5441 (AD, ADW, B, CANB, HUJ, K, NSW, PERTH, US). N.T.: 112 km N of Alice Springs, D.E. Symon 10379 (ADW, NT). S.A.: 29 km W of Mt Christie, D.E. Symon 3420 (ADW, BIRM, CANB, K).

Plant status, if any

This taxon does not have any status in WA and has a conservation status as a plant of least concern in theNorthern Territorysee

From the web

Further information can be found on the FloraBase site. Images not identified to subspecies can also be seen on this site at

As a target for the Millenium Seed Bank, with image - see

Limited information for this species can be found on the Solanaceae Source site.