Solanum versicolor A.R.Bean, Austrobaileya 6: 785 (2004)
T: Qld, 27 km SE of Charleville, on road to Bollon, 29 Jan 2002, A.R.Bean 18456; holo: BRI; iso: AD, MEL, NSW. an image of the type specimen can be seen at http://delta-intkey.com/solanum/images/Sol_versi.jpg
Erect, herbaceous resprouter, 0.15-0.3 m high. Juvenile stage absent. Bark on adult stems furrowed, corky. Adult branchlets yellow or brown; prickles 1-10 per dm, straight, acicular, 1-5 mm long, 13-20 times longer than wide; stellae dense, 0.5-0.8 mm diameter, stalks 0-0.1 mm long; lateral rays 7-9, porrect; central ray present, 0.2-0.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs sparse.
Adult leaves lanceolate or elliptical, entire; lamina 3.5-6 cm long, 1.1-2.2 cm wide, 2.5-4 times longer than broad, apex obtuse, base cuneate, oblique part 0-1.5 mm long, obliqueness index 0-3 percent; petioles 0.6-1.4 cm long, 17-25% length of lamina, prickles absent. Upper leaf surface grey-green; prickles absent; stellate hairs distributed throughout; proto-stellae absent; ordinary stellae dense, 0.15-0.3 mm apart, 0.5-0.7 mm across, stalks 0-0.15 mm long; lateral rays 8-9, porrect; central ray 0.5-1 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs present, 0.1-0.3 mm apart, gland-tipped, 0.05-0.1 mm long; Type 2 hairs absent. Lower leaf surface white; prickles absent; stellae dense to very dense, 0.05-0.1 mm apart, 0.6-0.9 mm diameter, stalks 0.1-0.2 mm long; lateral rays 7 or 8, porrect; central ray 0.4-1 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent.
Inflorescence supra-axillary, solitary or pseudo-racemose, common peduncle absent, rachis prickles absent; 1-3-flowered, with all flowers bisexual and 5-merous; pedicels 11-26 mm long at anthesis, same thickness throughout, 0.5-0.6 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent. Calyx tube 1.5-3 mm long, lobes attenuate, 3-4.5 mm long; prickles absent at anthesis; stellae moderate to dense, transparent, 0.5-0.7 mm across, stalks 0-0.1 mm long, lateral rays 6-8, central ray 0.5-1 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs present; Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla white, 7-11 mm long, shallowly lobed; anthers 4-5 mm long; ovary with Type 2 hairs only; functional style 5-6.5 mm long, erect, with Type 2 hairs only.
Fruiting calyx with lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles absent. Mature fruits 1 or 2 per inflorescence, globular, 11-13 mm diameter, green, 2-locular; placenta in cross-section sessile, semi-circular; mesocarp moist but not juicy; exocarp 0.4-0.5 mm thick; pedicels 12-26 mm long in fruit, 0.6-0.9 mm thick at midpoint; seeds pale yellow, 2.7-3 mm long.
Description by A.R.Bean, reproduced, with permission, from Austrobaileya 6: 785 (2004).
A full description of this species can also be found on A.R.Bean's treatment of the eastern Australian species of Solanum at http://delta-intkey.com/solanum/www/versicol.htm
Distribution and ecology
Found only in the Charleville area of SW Qld where it occurs in deep red soils with Acacia aneura and Eucalyptus populnea.
Part of the S. esuriale group of Subgen. Leptostemonum according to Bean (2004).
Most closely related to S. esuriale but differing by
- corky bark of S. versicolor, not so in S. esuriale
- presence of simple hairs with the stellate hairs on the upper leaf surface and calyces of S. versicolor, only the stellate hairs in S. esuriale
- pedicels 11-26 mm long at anthesis in S. versicolor, 5-9 mm long in S. esuriale
- white flowers of S. versicolor, mauve or purple in S. esuriale
Derivation of epithet
From the Latin versicolor, of various colours, a reference to the contrast between the green pedicels and the white rachises and branchlets.
QLD: WARREGO DISTRICT: 44 km E of Charleville, towards Morven, Jan 2002, Bean 18507 (AD, BRI, NSW).
A poorly known species, Bean (2004) cites only this specimen and the type.
Plant status, if any
From the web
Further information and links for this species can be found on the Solanaceae Source site.