Solanum mentiens A.R.Bean, Austrobaileya 6: 692 (2004).
T: Bahr's Scrub, 5 km SSW of Beenleigh, J.Davidson property, 19 Dec 2001, P.I.Forster 28047 & G.Leiper; holo: BRI; iso: A, K, L, MEL, NSW. An image of the type specimen can be seen at http://delta-intkey.com/solanum/images/Sol_menti.jpg
S. discolor R.Br. var. procumbens C.T.White, Proc. Roy. Soc. Qld 55: 71 (1944). T:
Prostrate, stoloniferous perennial shrub, c. 0.1 m high. Juvenile stage absent. Adult branchlets yellow or brown; prickles absent or present, 0-10 per decimetre, straight, acicular, 2-7 mm long, 8-10 times longer than wide; stellae dense to very dense, 0.15-0.2 mm diameter, sessile; lateral rays 6-8, porrect; central ray absent; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent.
Adult leaves elliptical or ovate, entire; lamina 5-7.5 cm long, 2.7-4 cm wide, 1.5-2.2 times longer than broad, apex obtuse, base cuneate or obtuse, oblique part 0-3.5 mm long, obliqueness index 0-6 percent; petioles 0.5-1.1 cm long, 7-20% length of lamina, prickles absent. Upper leaf surface green; prickles 0-3, straight, acicular, 2-5 mm long, prickles absent or present on midvein only; stellate hairs absent, or confined to midrib; ordinary stellae absent from surface; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent. Lower leaf surface white or yellowish; prickles absent; stellae very dense, c. 0.05 mm apart, 0.2-0.3 mm diameter, sessile; lateral rays 7 or 8, porrect; central ray absent; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent.
Inflorescence supra-axillary, solitary or pseudo-racemose, common peduncle 0-3 mm long, rachis prickles absent; 1-6-flowered, weakly andromonoecious, flowers 5-merous; pedicels 6-18 mm long at anthesis, same thickness throughout, 0.3-0.5 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent. Calyx tube 2-4 mm long, lobes elliptic or deltate, 1-3 mm long; prickles absent at anthesis; stellae moderate, transparent, 0.15-0.25 mm across, sessile, lateral rays 6-8, central ray absent; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla white, 7-12 mm long, shallowly or deeply lobed, inner surface glabrous; anthers 4.5-5.5 mm long; ovary with Type 2 hairs only; functional style 5.5-7 mm long, erect, glabrous or with Type 2 hairs only.
Fruiting calyx with lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles absent. Mature fruits 1-3 per inflorescence, globular, 10-12 mm diameter, red, 1-locular (septum absent or incomplete); placenta in cross-section sessile, semi-circular to elliptical; mesocarp moist but not juicy; exocarp 0.8-1 mm thick; pedicels 22-25 mm long in fruit, 0.8-1 mm thick at mid-point; seeds pale yellow, 2.4-3.2 mm long.
Bean's original description of S. mentiens. Reproduced, with permission, from Austrobaileya 6: 692 (2004).
Another detailed description of this species by Bean can be seen on the web at http://delta-intkey.com/solanum/www/mentiens.htm
Distribution and ecology
Confined to the Boonah and Beenleigh areas in southeastern
S. mentiens is closely related to S. corifolium and they do overlap in distribution and share a similar habitat.
S. mentiens has a prostrate habit, leaves twice or less as long as broad, the presence of some functionally male flowers in the inflorescence and non-juicy fruits while S. corifolium has a sprawling or erect habit, leaves twice or more as long as broad, no functionally male flowers in the inflorescence and juicy fruits.
It is placed in the S. ferocissimum group of subgen. Leptostemonum together with S. chenopodinum, S. corifolium, S. defensum, S. discolor, S. dissectum, S. dryanderense, S. dysprosium, S. ferocissimum, S. fervens, S. inaequilaterum, S. latens, S. lythrocarpum, S. parvifolium, S. shirleyanum, S. stelligerum and S. yirrkalense .
Derivation of epithet
From the Latin mentiens, imitating, a reference to the similarity of S. mentiens to S. corifolium .
QLD: near Canungra, May 1917, C.T.White s.n. (BRI); end of French’s Creekroad, c. 12 km SW of Boonah, Jul 1984, Bird s.n. (BRI); Bahr’s Scrub, near Beenleigh, Jan 2000, Leiper s.n. (BRI); Bahr’s Scrub, 5 km SW of Beenleigh, Feb 2001, A.R.Bean 17370 (BRI, MEL); Bahr’s Scrub, 6 km SW of Beenleigh, Feb 2002, A.R.Bean 18513 (BRI); slopes of Mt French, W of Boonah, Apr 2003, A.R.Bean 20144 (BRI).
Specimens cited by Bean in protologue
Plant status, if any
A category of “Endangered” has been recommended since the species is only known from 3 locations and is probably not found in conserved areas (Bean 2004).
From the web
An image of the type specimen can be seen at http://delta-intkey.com/solanum/images/Sol_menti.jpg