Solanum sporadotrichum F. Muell., Chem. & Druggist 5: Australas. Suppl. 48 (1882) 

T: Mt Dryander, Qld, Kilner & Fitzalan s.n.; lecto: MEL 12282; fide D.E. Symon, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard 4: 242 (1981); Port Denison, Qld, E. Fitzalan s.n.; syn: K, MEL.


Shrub, green; inflorescence and leaves sparsely pubescent with stellate hairs, the hairs sometimes dense on lower leaf-surface, branchlets almost glabrous; prickles scattered to numerous on branchlets, few or absent on leaves.


Leaves ovate, concolorous, entire to shallowly lobed. Entire leaves with lamina 5.5–11 cm long, 1.5–5 cm wide; lobed leaves with lamina 7–17 cm long, 4–10 cm wide; petiole 1–6 cm long.


Inflorescence short, few–flowered. Calyx c. 9 mm long; lobes narrowly triangular, c. 7 mm long. Corolla stellate, deeply incised, white or purple. Anthers c. 5 mm long.


Berry c. 16–18 mm diam., probably scarlet. Seeds 2–3 mm long, pale yellow.

Description from Flora of Australia 29: 156 (1982), based on inadequate material.


Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 1.5–4 m high. Juvenile branchlets with c. 130 prickles per dm, 1–5 mm long; leaves (in outline) broadly ovate, shallowly-lobed, with 3–5 pairs of lobes; lamina 6.5–8.5 cm long, 5–6 cm wide, with 80–120 prickles on upper surface. Bark on adult stems furrowed, corky. Adult branchlets brown; prickles absent or present, 0–3 per dm, straight, acicular, 4–7 mm long, 10–12 times longer than wide; stellae sparse, 0.3–0.6 mm diameter, sessile; lateral rays 5–8, porrect; central ray 0.3–0.7 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent.


Adult leaves ovate, shallowly lobed throughout; lobes 3 or 4 on each side, obtuse, lobing index 1.1–1.4; lamina 6.5–11 cm long, 3.5–5.5 cm wide, 1.6–2.1 times longer than broad, apex obtuse or acute, base obtuse, oblique part 0–6 mm long, obliqueness index 0–8 percent; petioles 1–2.2 cm long, 13–25% length of lamina, prickles absent. Upper leaf surface green; prickles 0–30, straight, acicular, 1–6 mm long, prickles absent or present on mid-vein only or present on mid-vein and lateral veins; stellate hairs distributed throughout; proto-stellae present; ordinary stellae sparse, 0.9–1.6 mm apart, 0.4–0.5 mm across, sessile; lateral rays 4–8, porrect; central ray 0.5–1 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent. Lower leaf surface green; prickles 0–15, straight, acicular, absent or present on mid-vein only or present on mid-vein and lateral veins; stellae moderate to dense, 0.4–0.8 mm apart, 0.5–0.9 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.1 mm long; lateral rays 6–8, porrect; central ray 0.3–0.7 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent.


Inflorescence supra-axillary, pseudo-racemose, common peduncle 11–16 mm long, rachis prickles absent; 3–7-flowered, weakly andromonoecious, flowers 5-merous; pedicels 5–10 mm long at anthesis, same thickness throughout, 0.5–0.8 mm thick at midpoint, prickles absent. Calyx tube 2–3 mm long, lobes deltate or attenuate, 2.5–7.5 mm long; prickles absent at anthesis; stellae moderate to dense, transparent, 0.3–0.5 mm across, sessile, lateral rays 5–7, central ray 0.7–1.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla purple, 7–12 mm long, shallowly or deeply lobed, inner surface glabrous; anthers 4.5–7.5 mm long; ovary glabrous; functional style 10–11.5 mm long, erect, glabrous.


Fruiting calyx with lobes less than or more than half length of mature fruit, prickles absent. Mature fruits 1 or 2 per inflorescence, globular, c. 13 mm diameter, green, 1-locular (septum absent or incomplete); placenta in cross-section sessile, semi-circular; mesocarp moist but not juicy; exocarp 2.3–2.5 mm thick; pedicels 6–13 mm long in fruit, 0.5–0.8 mm thick at mid-point; seeds pale yellow, c. 2.9 mm long.


Description from Bean (2004), reproduced with permission. This description was based on many more specimens.


Bean has another more comprehensive description of this species at


Distribution and ecology

Originally poorly known and only recorded from the Mt Dryander area in tropical North Qld in rainforest (Purdie et al. 1982).

The species is now better known and its range is extended north to west of Townsville (Bean 2004) and it has been recorded from vine thicket, rainforest margins amd Argyrodendron-dominated rainforest.


Working with inadequate material Symon (1981) postulated that S. sporadotrichum was closely related to S. macoorai Bailey and S. inaequilaterum Domin.  

Bean (2004) considered the species to be close to the recircumscribed S. furfuraceum of the S. macoorai group of species. Both species have a corky bark but they differ in the entire leaves of S. furfuraceum , lobed in S. sporadotrichum and the presence of simple glandular hairs on the upper leaf surface of S. furfuraceum , these absent in S. sporadotrichum.


S. sporadotrichum occupies the same habitat as the Endangered Proserpine rock wallaby and so efforts to preserve that species may well help to preserve this one as well - see


Selected specimens

Qld: Mt Dryander, R.J. Henderson 2213 (AD, BRI); Calder Is., May 1992, D.Halford Q1321 & Crombie (AD, BRI); Mt Wickham, July 1993, R.Fensham 991 (BRI).

Specimens cited in Flora of Australia 29: 156 (1982)


QLD:  NORTH KENNEDY DISTRICT: near crest of ridge leading to easterly peak of Mt Dryander, Jul 1974, Henderson H2213 et al. (BRI); Magnetic Island, near top of Mt Cook, Aug 1982, Sandercoe 904 (BRI); Mingela Bluff, Aug 1989, Cumming 9300 (BRI); ‘Fanning River’, 25 km NW of Mingela, Sep 1989, Fell 64 & Cumming (BRI); Mount Wickham, Jul 1993, Fensham 991 (BRI); Leichhardt Range, Jul 1993, Fensham 992 (BRI); Squally Bay, Gloucester Island, Apr 1994, Batianoff 940478 & Figg (BRI); East Coast bay, S of Mt Sunter, Conway N.P., May 1994, Batianoff 940579 & Dillewaard (BRI); Flame Tree Hill, c. 3 km ESE of Airlie Beach, Jun 1994, McDonald 5874 & Champion (BRI); headland W of Horseshoe Bay, Magnetic Island, Jan 1998, Cumming 16758 (BRI). SOUTH KENNEDY DISTRICT:Calder Island, May 1992, Halford Q1321 & Crombie (AD, BRI); Calder Island, c. 50 km NE of Mackay, Jun 2000, Bean 16693 & Champion (BRI, DNA, MEL, NSW).

 Specimens cited by Bean (2004)

Plant status, if any

This species is listed as rare under theQueensland Nature Conservation Act, 1992.

From the web

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