Photo: M. Fagg ANBG

 Photo: M. Fagg ANBG

Line drawing by M. Szent Ivany, J. Adelaide Bot. Gards 4 (1981) 131, fig. 44.

Distribution map generated from Australia's Virtual Herbarium.


Solanum parvifolium R. Br. ssp. parvifolium

Solanum parvifolium R. Br., Prodr. 446 (1810); T: Broad Sound, R. Brown s.n.; lecto: BM; iso: K, MPU; fide D.E. Symon, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4: 132 (1981).  Images of the lectotype and isolectotype in BM can be seen on the Solanaceae Source site.

Solanum accedens Domin, Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 12: 130 (1913); T: [Qld], Rockhampton, s.dat., J.Dallachy s.n.; holo: K.

Solanum stelligerum auct.non R.Br.: Symon, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4: 128 (1981), p.p. 


Erect woody shrub, dark green, pubescent with minute stellate hairs; hairs sparse or absent on upper leaf-surface, dense on lower surface; prickles 4–10 mm long, scattered to abundant on stems, rare or absent elsewhere.  

Leaves linear-oblong; lamina mostly 3–6 cm long, 6–10 mm wide, discolorous, entire; petiole 3–5 mm long, sometimes longer. Inflorescence short, 1–5–flowered; peduncle to 6 mm long; pedicels 5–10 mm long, lengthened in fruit. Calyx 3–4 mm long; lobes oblong or triangular, 1–2 mm long. Corolla stellate, deeply incised, 10–15 mm diam., pale blue or white. Anthers 3–5 mm long.  

Berry globular, 5–8 mm diam., bright red; fruiting pedicels 1.2–2 cm long. Seeds 2–2.5 mm long, pale yellow or brown.

 Description of S. parvifolium from Flora of Australia 29 : 125(1982).

Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.5–1.2 m high. Juvenile stage unknown. Adult branchlets grey or brown; prickles 1–20 per decimetre, straight, acicular, 0.5–7 mm long, 10–18 times longer than wide; stellae sparse to dense, 0.2–0.4 mm diameter, sessile; lateral rays 6–8, porrect; central ray 0.2–1 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs sparse.


Adult leaves linear or narrow lanceolate, entire; lamina 2.5–7 cm long, 0.5–1.5 cm wide, 3.7–7.5 times longer than broad, apex obtuse or acute, base cuneate, oblique part 0–3 mm long, obliqueness index 0–4 percent; petioles 0.2–0.9 cm long, 7–16% length of lamina, prickles absent. Upper leaf surface green; prickles absent; stellate hairs confined to midrib, or distributed throughout; protostellae absent; ordinary stellae very sparse, 0.8–5 mm apart, 0.3–0.5 mm across, sessile; lateral rays 7 or 8, porrect; central ray 0.8–1.2 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent. Lower leaf surface white or yellowish; prickles absent; stellae very dense, c. 0.05 mm apart, 0.2–0.5 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.1 mm long; lateral rays 7–9, porrect; central ray 0.2–1 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent.

Inflorescence supra-axillary, solitary or pseudo-racemose, common peduncle 0–4 mm long, rachis prickles absent; 1–8-flowered, with all flowers bisexual and 5-merous; pedicels 7–13 mm long at anthesis, same thickness throughout, 0.4–0.7 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent. Calyx tube 1.5–3 mm long, lobes deltate, 1–3 mm long; prickles absent at anthesis; stellae dense, yellow or white, 0.25–0.4 mm across, sessile, lateral rays 7 or 8, central ray 0.2–1 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla purple, 7–9 mm long, shallowly or deeply lobed, inner surface glabrous; anthers 3.5–5 mm long; ovary with Type 2 hairs only; functional style 3.5–6.5 mm long, erect, with Type 2 hairs only or with stellate and Type 2 hairs, stellae 0.3–0.4 mm across, lateral rays 7 or 8, central ray c. 0.3 times as long as laterals.

Fruiting calyx with lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles absent. Mature fruits 1–6 per inflorescence, globular, 6–8 mm diameter, red, 1-locular (septum absent or incomplete); placenta not apparent; mesocarp juicy, succulent; pedicels 11–27 mm long in fruit, 0.5–0.7 mm thick at mid-point; seeds pale yellow, 1.9–2.3 mm long.

A.R.Bean's description of S. parvifolium ssp. parvifolium from Austrobaileya 6: 699 (2004), reproduced with permission.

Distribution and ecology

Occurs from Charters Towers in Qld to north-eastern NSW; it has been recorded from brigalow scrubs, vine thickets and Eucalyptus woodland. 


Part of the S. ferocissimum group of subgen. Leptostemonum according to Bean (2004) together with S. chenopodinum, S. corifolium, S. defensum, S. discolor, S. dissectum, S. dryanderense, S. dysprosiumS. ferocissimum, S. fervens, S. inaequilaterum, S. latens, S. lythrocarpum, S. mentiens, S. shirleyanum, S. stelligerum and S. yirrkalense .


The two subspecies of S. parvifolium differ by

Ssp. parvifolium has a more southerly distribution than ssp. tropicum.


Derivation of epithet

From the Latin parvus, meaning s mall, and folium meaning leaf, a reference to the supposedly small leaves of this species .

Selected specimens

Qld: Benandri, S.L. Everist 7153 (AD, CANB); Moura, R. Henderson 203 (BRI). N.S.W.: Warrumbungle Mtns, 23 May 1948, E.F. Constable (NSW);Warrumbungle National Park, 13 May 1969, J.H. Willis (MEL).

Specimens cited Flora of Australia 29: 125 (1982), for species.


QLD: NORTH KENNEDY DISTRICT: 14 km E of ‘Mt Cooper’ HS, Jun 1992, Thompson CHA141 & Sharpe (AD, BISH, BRI). MITCHELL DISTRICT: base of Great Dividing Range on W side, Sep 1984, O’Keeffe 600 (BRI). SOUTH KENNEDY DISTRICT: Alpha, Sep 1959, Macartney s.n. (BRI); ‘Strathmore’, 14 miles [23 km] W of Collinsville, May 1960, Johnson 1804 (BRI). LEICHHARDT DISTRICT: Moura–Baralaba road, c. 8 miles [13 km] from Baralaba, May 1960, Johnson 1701 (BRI); Dipperu N.P., c. 24 km S of Nebo, Sep 1971, McDonald 152 (BRI); Yatton Ck, on Sarina–Marlborough road, c. 93 km from Marlborough, Jul 1974, Moriarty 1543 (BRI, CANB); Dry Creek valley, Ka Ka Mundi section, Carnarvon N.P., Aug 1990, McDonald 4615 & Bean (BRI); Melaleuca creek scrub, ‘Rookwood’, Apr 1991, Forster PIF7937 & McDonald (BRI, QRS); ‘Moorang’, 30.7 km ENE of Taroom, Nov 1996, Halford Q3110 & Dowling (BRI); Cannondale scrub, Expedition N.P., Amphitheatre section, Nov 1998, Forster PIF23841 & Booth (BRI, MEL, QRS); 20 km S of Injune, Dec 1999, McDonald KRM165 (BRI). PORT CURTIS DISTRICT: Ogmore, Sep 1943, S.T.Blake 15312 (BRI); regional experiment Station, Biloela, Feb 1957, Daniels 30 (BRI); c. 29 km SW of Ridgelands, Fitzroy Shire, Apr 1990, Anderson 4847 (BRI); 15 km NE of Biloela, 3 km N of Callide Dam, Jul 1992, Thompson BIL7 (AD, BRI, NSW); near Gumigil Mine, Marlborough, Dec 1998, G.Batianoff 981227 et al. (BRI). WARREGO DISTRICT: 13 km NE of ‘Etona’, Jul 1977, R.Purdie 734D (BRI). MARANOA DISTRICT: Combabula S.F., 28 km NE of Yuleba, Jul 1990, Warrian CMW518 (BRI); ‘Wombil Downs’ station, c. 40 km NW of Dirranbandi, Dec 1999, Franks AJF9911046 (BRI); Surat–Yuleba road, c. 17 km from Surat, Apr 2001, A.R.Bean 17649 & Pedley (BRI, PRE). DARLING DOWNS DISTRICT: Brookvale Park, 8 km from Oakey, Jun 1993, C.R.Alcock 11265 (AD, BRI, CANB, K, MO); 14 km N of Goondiwindi, towards Moonie, Feb 1996, A.R.Bean 9904 (BRI); 2.0 km S of ‘Wyaga’, NE of Goondiwindi, Nov 1999, A.R.Bean 15873 (BRI, MEL, MO, NSW); 7.8 km N of Miles, Oct 2000, McDonald KRM249 (BRI). New South Wales. NORTH WESTERN SLOPES: Boronga Nature Reserve, 14.4 km E of Boomi, Sep 2001, A.R.Bean 17890 (BRI, MEL, NSW); 13.7 km E of North Star,  Sep 2001, A.R.Bean 17902 (BRI). NORTH WEST PLAINS: 8 miles [13 km] from Collarenebri, on the road to Walgett, Nov 1967, D.McGillivray 2803 (NSW); Watervale Reserve, 16 miles [26 km] N of Moree, Oct 1968, McBarron 15727 (BRI, NSW); ‘Warivan’, 7.4 km S of North Star on road to Warialda, Sep 1988, C.W.E.Moore 8833 (CANB).

Specimens cited for S. parvifolium ssp. parvifolium by Bean, Austrobaileya 6: 699 (2004).


From the web

Further information on this sub-species in NSW can be seen on the PlantNET site together with photographs and images of a herbarium specimen.

A photograph of this species by Hugh & Nan Nicholson can be seen on the Terania Rainforest Publishing Photo Library site and a specimen in the Canberra Botanic Gardens at

Further information, images of herbarium specimens and links for this species can be found on the Solanaceae Source site. The subspecies are also treated separately from this page.