F. Muell., Fragm. Phyt. A ust. 2:161 ( 1861 ).
Synonymy: Solanum ellipticum
Common name: Tomato bush, wild tomato.
An erect or sprawling sparingly clonal small shrub c. 0.5 m tall; prickles to 5-6 mm long, unequal, pale, straight, abundant on stems, petioles, peduncles and calyces, sparse or absent on the upper and lower leaf surfaces; all parts densely pubescent with pale stellate hairs, some, particularly northern specimens rather scabrous, general aspect grey-green; leaves variable depending on vigour, 4-12 x 2-7 cm, ovate-elliptic, margin entire, slightly undulate, apex acute, base cuneate, truncate to subcordate, oblique; petiole 1-4 cm long.
Inflorescence an erect or spreading cyme of to 20 flowers; peduncle c. 2 cm long; floral rhachis to 8 cm long; pedicel 0.5-1 cm long; calyx tube 2-3 mm long; lobes c. 2 mm long, triangular; acumens 2-3 mm long, linear; corolla stellate to pentagonal, 2-2.5 cm diam., purple; filaments very short; anthers c. 5 mm long, tapered upwards, loosely erect; ovary glabrous; style c. 1 cm long, erect, slightly curved; stigma small, hooked.
Fruiting peduncle and pedicels spreading or drooping, bearing 1-10 fruits; calyx to 1 cm long, enlarged to cover the base of the fruit; berry 1-1.5 cm diam., globular or depressed-globular, at first a marbled green, later a yellowish green, finally hard, bony, a light yellow-brown; seeds c. 2 mm long, pale or a light mustard-yellow to a light-grey, smooth or minutely rugose towards the margin.
||Flowering and fruiting branch and a fruit.
Image source: fig. 578B in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).|
Cunningham et al. (1982) Plants of western New South Wales, p. 592.
S.Aust.: NW, LE, GT, FR, EA, EP. All States except Vic. and Tas.
Flowering time: March — Oct.
SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia
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