Plate  by G.R.M. Dashorst from D.E. Symon, Kangaroo Apples (1994) pl. 4, published by the author.

Wyperfield NP, Victoria. Photo: ?J. O'Dowd per D.E. Symon

Distribution map generated from Australia's Virtual Herbarium .


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

S. simile var. typicum Domin, Feddes Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 12: 130 (1913), nom. illeg.

T: Angas River, S.A., F. Mueller s.n.; syn: MEL; Spencer's Gulf, S.A., F. Mueller s.n.; syn: K; St Vincent's Gulf, S.A., F. Mueller s.n.; lecto: MEL 12328; iso: L, MEL, fide D.E. Symon, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4: 86 (1981); Kangaroo Island, S.A., March, 1847, ?Waterhouse s.n.; syn: MEL; S.A., F. Mueller s.n.; syn: CGE, E, L.


Erect shrub to 2 m, green, glabrous except for minute hairs on petal apices; prickles absent.

Leaves elliptic to lanceolate; lamina 3-8 cm long, 1-2 cm wide, sometimes larger, concolorous, usually entire; petiole to 1 cm long. Juvenile leaves up to 19 cm long and 9 cm wide, shallowly lobed towards base.

Inflorescence up to 12-flowered; rachis to 5 cm long; peduncle absent or to 1 cm long; pedicels to 25 mm long. Calyx 3-5 mm long; lobes broadly triangular, 2-3 mm long. Corolla rotate, 20-30 mm diam., violet; lobes notched. Anthers 2-2.5 mm long.

Berry globular, 10-15 mm diam., green or tinged purple. Seeds 2-2.5 mm long, greyish to dark brown. Stone-cell granules 1-3 mm diam. n=23.

A DELTA-generated description by Bean can be seen at

Distribution and ecology

An Australian endemic, S. simile is one of the Kangaroo Apples or subg. ArchaeosolanumOccurs in drier regions of southern Australia, in south-western W.A., southern S.A., north-western Vic., and central N.S.W.  

Usually grows in sandy, often alkaline, soils, at base of dunes, disturbed roadside areas, and alluvial gravels and terraces or seasonally flooded creeks. Often associated with mallee eucalypt woodlands; abundant after fire.

Common name

Usually cited as Oondoroo in texts dating from Ewart's 1930-1 Flora of Victoria to the present day. However Gott (ASBS Newsletter 98:  8 (1999) indicated that the Aboriginal name for S. simile in earlier texts was given as Quena, a name generally applied to S. esuriale today. Thus Ewart would appear to have transposed the application of these two Aboriginal names. 


One of the Kangaroo Apples or subg. Archaeosolanum. Further information about this group of species can be found in Symon (1994).  

Closely related to S. symonii H. Eichler; distinguished by the globular fruit and smaller flowers.

Reference: Symon, D.E. (1994). Kangaroo apples: Solanum sect. Archaesolanum. Published by the author:Keswick, South Australia.



Aboriginal food plant in S.A.

From the web

An image of the fruit, flower and leaves can be seen at

Further information for this species in WA can be found on the FloraBase site, in NSW on the PlantNET site and in SA on the eFlora site. 

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