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Foliage with flowers. Photo: D.E.Symon 3077 D.E.Symon

Habit, with flowers and D.E.Symon. Photo: D.E.Symon 2862 D.E.Symon

Photo: D.E.Symon 2861 D.E.Symon

Line drawing of branch with flowers and fruits by M. Szent Ivany, J. Adelaide Bot. Gards 4 (1981) 226, fig. 97.

Distribution map generated from Australia's Virtual Herbarium. For a more up to date map visit the AVH site through your local herbarium.

Synonymy

Solanum ashbyae Symon, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4: 223; figs 95, 97 (1981)

T: 120 km N of Meekatharra, W.A., 15 May 1975, D.E. Symon 9983; holo: PERTH; iso: AD ex ADW, CANB, K.

Description

Shrub to 2 m, densely pubescent with glandular-stellate hairs, yellowish-green, rarely grey-green, the stems and young leaves yellowish; prickles to 5 mm long, abundant on stems, sparse elsewhere.  

Leaves ovate-elliptic; lamina 5–8 cm long, 4–5.5 cm wide, sometimes larger, concolorous, entire; petiole 2–4 cm long.  

Inflorescence up to 12–flowered, several lower flowers bisexual, the upper flowers male; peduncle 3–4 cm long; rachis 2–3 cm long. Bisexual flowers: pedicel to 15 mm long; calyx 8–13 mm long, enlarged in fruit, the lobes lanceolate, unequal, 4–10 mm long; corolla broadly stellate to rotate, 25–40 mm diam., purple; anthers 7–8 mm long. Male flowers similar: corolla to 30 mm diam.; anthers 5–7 mm long; ovary, style and stigma rudimentary.  

Berry ovoid to globular, occasionally slightly conical, c. 15 mm diam., pale bright green when ripe, drying brown; fruiting calyx 15–18 mm long. Seeds 2 mm long, light brown. n=12.

Distribution and ecology

Restricted to inland central-western W.A., occurring in deep red sand and on the margins of granite slopes.

Relationships

Considered by Bean (2004) to be a member of the S. lasiophyllum group of subgen. Leptostemonum.

Notes

S. ashbyae was one of the shrubs observed in the study cited below and was found to be adversely effected by high sheep stocking rates. It is eaten by sheep.

 

Reference: Davies SJJF, Walsh TFM (1976) Observations on the regeneration of shrubs and woody forbs over a ten year period in grazed quadrats on Mileura Station, Western Australia.The Australian Rangeland Journal 1: 215–224.

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Derivation of epithet

Named for Miss Alison Ashby (1901-1987), collector and illustrator of Australian plants.

Selected specimens

W.A.: 22 km S of Gascoyne River South, D.E. Symon 9991 (AD); near Laverton, J.Z. Weber 4815 (AD); Von Treuer Tableland, P.G. Wilson 7426 (PERTH).

From the web

Further information and a photograph for this species in WA can be found on the FloraBase site.