Line drawing by M. Szent Ivany J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4 (1981) 121, fig. 39.

Detail from line drawing by M. Szent Ivany in J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4 (1981) 121, fig. 39.

Distribution map generated from Australia's Virtual Herbarium.


Solanum tetrandrum R. Br., Prodr. 445 (1810) 

T: Cotton Is. and Pobassoo Is., Arnhem Bay, N.T., R. Brown s.n.; lecto: BM; iso: K, MEL; fide D.E. Symon, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4: 122 (1981). Images of 3 of Brown's collections in the BM can be seen on the Solanaceae Source site.

S. tetrandrum var. ?floribundum Benth., Fl. Austral. 4: 449 (1868). 

T: `From Leichhardt's collection', not traced, fide D.E. Symon, loc. cit.


Shrub to 3 m, grey-green, pubescent with stellate hairs; hairs scattered on upper leaf-surface, denser on lower surface, the older leaves almost glabrous; prickles absent.

Leaves broadly elliptic or ovate; lamina 5–10 cm long, 3.5–6 cm wide, sometimes larger, slightly discolorous, entire, or juvenile leaves slightly sinuate; petiole usually 1–3 cm long.

Inflorescence 5–20–flowered; peduncle to 5 mm long; rachis 5–15 mm long; pedicels 4–5 mm long. Calyx 4–5 mm long; lobes lanceolate, 2–3 mm long. Corolla stellate, deeply incised, 25 mm diam., usually 4–lobed, white or pale blue. Anthers 4–5 mm long.  

Berry globular, 5–7 mm diam., bright red, drying brownish-orange. Seeds 2–2.5 mm diam., pale yellow or light grey. n=12.


Symon (1981) included this species within Sect. Irenosolanum Seithe together with S. dunalianum and S. viridifolium. All are found in the Pacific islands, PNG and northern Australia. All are shrubs or small trees, usually unarmed, have large entire leaves, are glabrous or with only sparse stellate hairs, tapering anthers and red berries.

Whalen (1984) and Bean (2004) both included the same three species within the Dunalianum group of subg. Leptostemonum; none of these species was included in the molecular analysis of the relationships of the species of subg. Leptostemonum conducted by Levin et al.(2006).   


Plants are deciduous and are often almost leafless in the dry season. They do not resprout after fire and thake 2-3 years to produce their first fruits - see

Selected specimens

N.T.: Humpty Doo, J.L. McKean 409 (ADW, CANB, DNA, NT); Bathurst Is., P. Stevenson 139 (DNA).


Plant status, if any

Conservation status as a plant of least concern in theNorthern Territorysee

From the web

Limited information and links for this species can be found on the Solanaceae Source site. Interestingly two of the BM herbarium specimens featured on this page come from New Caledonia and Fiji.