Alton, Hort. Kew. edn 1, 1:246 (1789).
Synonymy: Not Applicable
Common name: Kangaroo apple, large kangaroo apple.
A softwooded shrub 1-3 m tall, lasting several years, main stem to 10 cm diam., spreading and straggly with age, glabrous except for minute glandular hairs on young growing tips, buds, and a few sparse simple hairs on seedlings and young leaves, soon glabrescent, general appearance green, or stems suffused with purple; leaves variable in size and lobing even on the same plant; lobed leaves 15-30 x 10-15 cm, broadly ovate, deeply pinnatisect, 1-9 lobes each to 10 x 1 cm, lanceolate, sinuses rounded, not reaching the midrib, lower pair of lobes usually smaller, leaf base cuneate, more or less equal, continued down the petiole some distance, lobe apex blunt to acuminate, all forms of intermediates occur to adult leaves, 5-20 x 1-1.5 rarely to 4 cm, lanceolate, entire, base cuneate, apex acuminate; petiole c. 1 cm long.
Inflorescence a scorpioid cyme, 5-15 cm long, simple or forked from the base, often in the axil of a stem fork or the leaf, a pedicellate flower may also occur in the fork, few to 10 flowers; peduncle to 4 cm long; floral rhachis to 10 cm long; pedicel 1.5-3 cm long, slender; calyx tube 3-4 mm long; lobes c. 2 mm long, short, broad, margins almost scarious; acumen c. 1 mm long, bluntly mucronate; corolla 3-5 cm diam., rotate, interacuminal tissue well developed, exceeding the acumens, lobes appearing emarginate, often showy, a deep purple-blue; filaments 3-4 rarely 5 mm long; anthers 3-4 mm long, oblong, free; ovary 1.5-3 mm long, bluntly conical; style 6-9 mm long; stigma capitate, shortly 2-lobed, distinctly papillose.
Fruiting rhachis 10-20 cm long; pedicels 2-3 cm long, lengthening and firming; calyx to 5 x 5 mm, enlarged and appressed, covering the base of the fruit; fruit 1.5-2 cm diam., ellipsoid to obovate, first green, later paling to yellow or orange-yellow, succulent, readily shed when ripe; seeds c. 2.5 mm long, concentrically reticulate, reddish-brown; stone cell masses 1-2.5 rarely 3.5 mm.
||Flowering and fruiting branch and a fruit.
Image source: fig. 576A in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).|
Symon (1981) J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4:80.
S.Aust.: EP, NL, MU, SL, KI, SE. W.Aust.; Vic.; Tas.
Flowering time: Sept. — March.
SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia
Cultivated (with S. aviculare) overseas as a source of solasodine from which cortico-steroid compounds are synthesised.
Not yet available