Line drawing by M. Szent Ivany J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4 (1981) 230, fig. 100, as S. prinophyllum.

Distribution map generated from Australia's Virtual Herbarium.


Solanum vicinum A.R.Bean, Austrobaileya 6: 725 (2004).

T: Qld, adjacent to Gambubal State Forest, NE of Killarney, 7 Oct 2000, A.R.Bean 16891; holo: BRI; iso: MEL, MO, NSW. an image of the type can be seen at

S. prinophyllum auct. non Dunal; Symon, J.Adelaide Bot Gard. 4: 228 (1981), p.p.

[S. xanthocarpum auct. non Schrader: F.M. Bailey, Queensland Fl. 1088 (1901)]


Erect, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.2-0.9 m high. Juvenile branchlets with 200-500 prickles per dm, 4-9 mm long; leaves (in outline) broadly ovate, shallowly-lobed, with 3-5 pairs of lobes; lamina 6-7 cm long, 5-6 cm wide, with c. 100 prickles on upper surface. Adult branchlets brown or green; prickles 90-180 per decimetre, straight, acicular, 1-11 mm long, 12-18 times longer than wide; stellae sparse, 0.4-0.5 mm diameter, stalks 0-0.15 mm long; lateral rays 5-8, porrect; central ray 0.5-1.2 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent.

Adult leaves ovate, shallowly lobed throughout; lobes 4-6 on each side, acute, lobing index 1.4-1.9; lamina 7.5-14 cm long, 4-9.5 cm wide, 1.5-2.1 times longer than broad, apex acute, base cuneate or obtuse, oblique part 1.5-7 mm long, obliqueness index 1-8 percent; petioles 1.7-3.7 cm long, 18-30% length of lamina, prickles present. Upper leaf surface green; prickles 100-200, straight, acicular, 3-11 mm long, prickles present on mid-vein and lateral veins; stellate hairs distributed throughout; proto-stellae absent; ordinary stellae density sparse to moderate, 0.6-1.3 mm apart, 0.4-0.5 mm across, sessile; lateral rays 4-8, porrect; central ray 0.8-1.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent. Lower leaf surface green; prickles 100-200, straight, acicular, present on midvein and lateral veins; stellae very sparse to sparse, 0.7-2.2 mm apart, 0.5-0.7 mm diameter, sessile; lateral rays 4-8, porrect; central ray 0.5-1.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent.

Inflorescencesupra-axillary, pseudo-racemose, common peduncle 0-8 mm long, rachis prickles present; 3-8-flowered, flowers 5-merous; pedicels 6-15 mm long at anthesis, same thickness throughout, 0.3-0.7 mm thick at midpoint, prickles present. Calyx tube 3-4.5 mm long, lobes attenuate, 3.5-10 mm long; prickles present at anthesis, 50-100 per flower, 1-8 mm long; stellae moderate, yellow or white, 0.3-0.5 mm across, sessile, lateral rays 4-7, central ray 0.5-1 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla purple, 11-18 mm long, rotate or shallowly lobed, inner surface glabrous; anthers 3.5-5 mm long; ovary with Type 2 hairs only; functional style 8-12 mm long, sigmoid, glabrous or with Type 2 hairs only.

Fruiting calyx with lobes less than or more than half length of mature fruit, prickles 1-8 mm long. Mature fruits 1 or 2 per inflorescence, globular, 24-30 mm diameter, purple, 2-locular; placenta in cross-section stalked, anvil-shaped; mesocarp moist but not juicy; exocarp 3-3.5 mm thick; pedicels 20-34 mm long in fruit, 1.3-2 mm thick at mid-point; seeds pale yellow, 1.9-2.4 mm long.

Description by Bean, reproduced with permission from Austrobaileya 6: 725 (2004).

Distribution and ecology

Solanum vicinum is found in northeastern N.S.W., as far south as Wauchope, extending into SE QLD where it is known from only a few locations, the most northerly being from the Conondale Ranges.

It is found either in or on the margins of rainforest, usually at relatively high altitude. Flowers are recorded from September to February; mature fruits from May, September and December. (Bean 2004).

Common name

Forest nightshade


Formerly treated as northern populations of S. prinophyllum (Symon 1981). S. prinophyllum and S. vicinum differ by

·         denser prickles (90-180 prickles per 10 cm) of S. vicinum compared with S. prinophyllum (30-65 prickles)

·         inflorescences 3-8-flowered for S. vicinum compared with 1-3-flowered for S. prinophyllum

·         peduncle without flowers for up to 8 mm in S. vicinum compared with flowers for the whole length in S. prinophyllum

·         corolla 2-4 cm diameter in S. vicinum compared with 1-2 cm diameter in S. prinophyllum


Both species are part of the S. hystrix group of subgen. Leptostemonum according to Bean (2004).



The illustration of S. prinophyllum in Symon, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4: 230, fig. 100, represents S. vicinum.

Derivation of epithet

From the Latin vicinus - near,  neighbouring, a reference to its close  affinity to S. prinophyllum (Bean 2004).    

Selected specimens

QLD: WIDE BAY DISTRICT: PetersL.A., Conondale Ranges, Dec 1990, Bean 2699 (BRI). DARLING DOWNS DISTRICT: c. 1 km ENE of Gambubal Forest Station, E of Warwick, Dec 1996, Bean 11426 (BRI); Goomburra S.F., c. 1.5 km W of Mt Castle Lookout carpark, NE of Warwick, Jan 2003, Bean 19929 (BRI). MORETON DISTRICT: Mt Glorious, Jan 1965, Henderson H104 (BRI); D'Aguilar Range, on top of Tenison Woods Mt, Jul 1974, Swan 55 (BRI); Lewington Road, Mt Mee, Sep 1992, Symon s.n. (BRI). New South Wales. NORTHERN TABLELANDS: Hillgrove near Armidale, Sep 1971, McBarron, 20291 (BRI, NSW). NORTH COAST: Dorrigo S.F., Oct 1930, White 7809 (BRI); c. 6 miles [10 km] along Doyles River road, c. 48 miles [77 km] W of Wauchope, Oct 1951, Ford s.n. (AD, BRI, NSW); Toonumbar S.F., 21 miles [34 km] NW of Kyogle, Sep 1972, Coveny 4571 & Rodd (BRI, NSW); near Mt Boss, NW of Wauchope, Nov 1999, Bean 15712 (BRI, NSW); Welsh's Road, Clouds Creek S.F., N of Dorrigo, Sep 2000, Bean 16855 (BRI, CANB, MEL, NSW); Bellangry S.F. lookout, NW of Wauchope, Dec 2000, Bean 17230 (BRI, NSW); Armidale - Kempsey road, 10.7 km S of Styx River, Dec 2000, Bean 17233 (BRI, NSW).

Specimens cited by Bean (2004). Some of the specimens cited as S. prinophyllum in Flora of Australia and in Symon's revision are now considered to be this species.

From the web

Images of S. vicinum, including one of the type specimen, can be found at A.R.Bean's treatment of the eastern Australian species of Solanum at

Further information on this species in NSW can be seen on the PlantNET site.

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