Solanum eminens A.R.Bean, Austrobaileya 6: 754 (2004).
Solanum hamulosum auct. non C.T.White: Symon, J.Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4: 255 (1981), p.p., with respect to Hyland specimens from Bellenden Ker; Purdie et al., Fl. Australia 29: 160 (1982) p.p., with respect to Hyland specimen from Bellenden Ker.
Sprawling perennial vine, 1-2 m high. Juvenile stage unknown. Adult branchlets brown; prickles 70-90 per dm, curved, broadbased,2-4 mm long, 2.5-4 times longer than wide; stellae sparse to dense, 0.2-0.3 mm diameter, stalks 0-0.1 mm long; lateral rays 7 or 8, porrect; central ray 0.4-0.8 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent.
Adult leaves broadly ovate, shallowly lobed throughout; lobes 5-7 on each side, acute, lobing index 1.1-1.3; lamina 8-12 cm long, 5-7.5 cm wide, 1.4-1.8 times longer than broad, apex acute or acuminate, base cuneate, oblique part 0-7 mm long, obliqueness index 0-7 percent; petioles 1.6-3 cm long, 20-30% length of lamina, prickles present. Upper leaf surface green; prickles 40-120, straight, acicular, 3-11 mm long, prickles present on mid-vein and lateral veins; stellate hairs distributed throughout; proto-stellae absent; ordinary stellae very sparse to sparse, 0.6-1.4 mm apart, 0.2-0.35 mm across, sessile; lateral rays 7 or 8, porrect; central ray 0.5-1 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent. Lower leaf surface white or yellowish; prickles 15-30, straight, acicular or broad-based, prickles present on mid-vein and lateral veins; stellae dense to very dense, 0.05-0.2 mm apart, 0.25-0.35 mm diameter, sessile; lateral rays 7 or 8, porrect; central ray 0.3-0.6 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent.
Inflorescence supra-axillary, pseudo-racemose, common peduncle 6-12 mm long, rachis prickles absent or present; 7-10-flowered, weakly andromonoecious, flowers 5-merous; pedicels 12-18 mm long at anthesis, same thickness throughout, 0.5-0.6 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent or present. Calyx tube 2.5-3.5 mm long, lobes deltate or rostrate, 0.5-3 mm long; prickles absent at anthesis; stellae dense, yellow or white or purple, 0.2-0.3 mm across, sessile, lateral rays 7 or 8, central ray 0.4-1 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla mauve, 9-14 mm long, deeply lobed, inner surface sparsely stellate-hairy; anthers 5.5-6.5 mm long; ovary with stellate hairs only; functional style c. 8.5 mm long, erect, with stellate hairs only, stellae c. 0.2 mm across, lateral rays 6-8, central ray c. 1 times as long as laterals.
Fruiting calyx with lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles absent. Mature fruits 1 per inflorescence, c. 17 mm diameter, orange; pedicels 23-28 mm long in fruit, 1-1.3 mm thick at mid-point; seeds pale yellow, 1.9-2.4 mm long.
Description reproduced from Bean (2004), with permission.
Another detailed description can be found in the Bean interactive key to eastern Australian species at http://delta-intkey.com/solanum/www/eminens.htm
Distribution and ecology
S. eminens is confined to the fern forests at higher altitudes on Mt Bellenden Ker in northern Qld.
Specimens previously treated as S. hamulosum but now as S. eminens can be distinguished by
- leaves 5-7-lobed on each side in S. eminens, entire in S. hamulosum
- 40-120 prickles on the upper leaf surface in S. eminens, 0-10 for S. hamulosum
- sparse indumentum on the upper leaf surface in S. eminens, dense in S. hamulosum
- orange fruit in S. eminens, green in S. hamulosum
Both species can be distinguished from S. dimorphispinum, the other species in the S. hamulosum group of subg. Leptostemonum (Bean 2004), by the presence of a central ray in the stellate hairs; this is lacking in S. dimorphispinum .
A line drawing of S. eminens can be found in Austrobaileya 6: 755 (2004).
Derivation of epithet
From the Latin, eminens meaning “projecting" or "high”, a reference to the altitude at which this species grows (1500-1600 metres), the highest for any Australian Solanum.
QLD: COOK DISTRICT: Bellenden Ker, Nov 1972, Hyland 6584 (BRI, QRS); Bellenden Ker Range, Oct 1974, Hyland 7757 (BRI, CANB, QRS); summit of Bellenden Ker, S of Cairns, Sep 1977, Powell 796 et al. (BRI, NSW); Mount Bellenden Ker, near the cableway terminus, Sep 1986, Clarkson 6575 (AD, BRI, MBA, QRS); central peak of Bellenden Ker, Wooroonooran N.P., Jun 1995, Hunter JH5302 (BRI).
From the web
Further information and links for this species can be found on the Solanaceae Source site.