Solanum longissimum A.R.Bean, Austrobaileya 6: 795 (2004).
T: Qld, Pannikan Springs area, 29 km W of Mungana, 26 Jan 1993, A.R.Bean 5617 & P.I.Forster; holo: BRI; iso: DNA. An image of the type specimen can be seen at http://delta-intkey.com/solanum/images/Sol_longi.jpg
S. echinatum auct. non R.Br.: Symon, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4: 197 (1981), p.p. (at least with respect to specimens from the Cook area in Qld).
Prostrate, rhizomatous perennial shrub, 0.15-0.3 m high. Juvenile stage unknown. Adult branchlets rusty or brown; prickles 3-80 per dm, straight, acicular or broad-based, 1-5 mm long, 6-10 times longer than wide; stellae dense, 0.6-1.1 mm diameter, stalks 0-0.6 mm long; lateral rays 7 or 8, porrect; central ray 1-1.8 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent.
Adult leaves ovate or broadly ovate, entire; lamina 3-8 cm long, 1.7-4 cm wide, 1.6-2.1 times longer than broad, apex acute, base cuneate or obtuse, oblique part 0-5 mm long, obliqueness index 0-12 percent; petioles 2.4-5.5 cm long, 65-115% length of lamina, prickles absent. Upper leaf surface green or grey-green; prickles absent; stellate hairs distributed throughout; proto-stellae absent; ordinary stellae sparse to dense, 0.25-0.5 mm apart, 0.6-0.7 mm across, stalks 0-0.1 mm long; lateral rays 6-8, porrect; central ray 1-1.8 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent. Lower leaf surface yellowish; prickles absent; stellae dense, 0.15-0.3 mm apart, 0.6-0.8 mm diameter, stalks 0-0.2 mm long; lateral rays 7 or 8, porrect; central ray 0.8-1.5 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent.
Inflorescence supra-axillary, pseudo-racemose, common peduncle 35-67 mm long, rachis prickles present; 3 or 4-flowered, flowers 5-merous; pedicels 4-6 mm long at anthesis, same thickness throughout or markedly thicker distally, 0.5-0.9 mm thick at mid-point, prickles present. Calyx tube 2.5-3.5 mm long, lobes deltate, 1-2.5 mm long; prickles absent or present at anthesis, zero or 20-100 per flower, 1-1.5 mm long; stellae very dense, yellow, 0.5-0.9 mm across, stalks 0-1.5 mm long, lateral rays 5-8, central ray 1-1.8 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla purple, 7-10 mm long, rotate, inner surface glabrous; anthers 3.5-4.5 mm long; ovary glabrous; functional style 6-6.5 mm long, erect, glabrous.
Fruiting calyx tube accrescent, enclosing most or all of mature fruit, prickles 1-5 mm long. Mature fruits 1 or 2 per inflorescence, oblate, brown; mesocarp moist but not juicy; pedicels 20-30 mm long in fruit, 0.9-1.2 mm thick at mid-point.
Description by A.R.Bean, reproduced with permission from Austrobaileya 6: 795 (2004).
Another detailed description of this species by Bean can be seen at http://delta-intkey.com/solanum/www/longissi.htm
Distribution and ecology
Found in northern Qld and adjacent areas in eastern NT. Cape York localities appearing on the AVH generated map above are almost certainly S. longissimum but there is overlap with S. echinatum in the Qld/NT border area. localities. For a more up to date map visit the AVH site through your local herbarium.
S. longissimumoccurs in low eucalypt woodland with spinifex in sandstone or lateritic areas.
S. longissimum is most closely related to S. echinatum and older collections were identified as this. The two species differ by
- the sparser prickles of S. longissimum (3-80 prickles per 10 cm), compared with 200-700 for S. echinatum
- the shorter (1-2.5 mm long), triangular calyx lobes of S. longissimum, compared with the longer (3-6 mm long), attenuate lobes of S. echinatum
- leaves of S. echinatum may be entire or lobed, they are always entire in S. longissimum
NT: Nicholson River area, Tin Hole Creek, Jun 1974, Maconochie 2025 (BRI, CANB, DNA); 4 km W of ‘Newcastle Waters’, Feb 1980, Latz 8335 (BRI, DNA).
QLD: BURKE DISTRICT: 16 km (by road) W of Musselbrook Mining Camp on road to Border Waterhole, Apr 1995, Thomas MRS179 & Johnson (AD, BRI). COOK DISTRICT: Gugu Yalungi Main Camp, Laura, Mar 1975, Hyland 8089 (BRI, CANB, QRS).
As cited by Bean (2004).
Plant status, if any
There is insufficient data to assess the conservation status of this species.
From the web
An image of the type specimen can be seen at http://delta-intkey.com/solanum/images/Sol_longi.jpg