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S. linnaeanum (Point Nepean NP, Vic). Photo: J.Hosking J.Hosking.

Fruit and stems of S. marginatum from Curtis's Botanical Magazine t. 1928 (1817).

Group characteristics

Erect shrubs, with entire or shallowly or deeply lobed adult leaves. Stem prickles and branchlet prickles straight or curved, widened or not at base. Stellate hairs present in all parts. Inflorescences not branched. Flowers all male apart from 1(-2) larger and pricklier bisexual flower(s) at the base of the floral rachis, 5-merous, mauve or purple. Calyx with prickles in bisexual flower, these lacking or sparser in male flower. Corolla lobes glabrous or stellate-hairy on inner face. Stamens with anthers all of similar size. Ovary glabrous, with mixed glandular and stellate hairs or with stellate hairs only. Mature fruits yellow or orange, 15-30 mm diameter, mesocarp dry; calyx less than half length of mature fruit.

Distribution

4 species endemic in Australia.

Note

The presence of S. stupefactum in this group is not supported by the molecular study of Martine et al. (2006).

Symon (1995) did not place S. stupefactum in a section but noted that it did not appear to have any close relationship with either S. cinereum or S. campanulatum or to the andromonoecious species of northernAustralia. As indicated below Bean (2004) placed it in the S. incanum group together with the 3 introduced species listed.

The DNA studies of Martine et al. (2006) supported Symon’s assertion that S. stupefactum is not closely aligned with the other northern Australian andromonoecious species but contrary to Symon’s findings, did find that its closest relationships were with the two other, difficult to place, andromonoecious species of the eastern states, S. campanulatum (treated here as part of the S. hystrix group) and S. cinereum (here treated as part of the S. macoorai group).

Australian members of group

Members of the S. incanum group of  Solanum subg. Leptostemonum (Bean 2004).

*S. incanum

*S. linnaeanum

*S. marginatum

S. stupefactum

See Bean, A.R. (2004). The taxonomy and ecology of Solanum subg. Leptostemonum (Dunal)Bitter (Solanaceae) in Queensland and far north-eastern New South Wales, Australia. Austrobaileya 6: 639-816.