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Photo: D.E. Symon    D.E. Symon

Line drawing by M. Szent Ivany, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4 (1981) 100, fig. 28.

Sketch of fruits by D. E. Symon, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4 (1981), Fig. 151M.

Distribution map generated from Australia's Virtual Herbarium.

Synonymy

Solanum pugiunculiferum C.T. White, Proc. Roy. Soc. Queensland 53: 225 (1942)

T: Settlement Creek, Burke District, Qld, Nov. 1922, L.J. Brass 244; holo: BRI; iso: CANB, K; Burketown, near the old meat works, 26 May 1919, P.G. Higgins; n.v.

Description

Erect or spreading annual herb to 50 cm, grey-green, glabrous except for minute glandular hairs on young growing points; prickles to 2 cm long, scattered on most parts.

Leaves ovate; lamina 3-7 cm long, 2.5-5 cm wide, concolorous, lobed; lobes triangular; petiole 10-25 mm long.

 Inflorescence short, 3-6-flowered; peduncle absent or to 5 mm long; pedicels c. 5 mm long. Calyx 3 mm long, frequently with 1 or 2 large prickles on outer side; lobes triangular, 1 mm long. Corolla campanulate, c. 10 mm diam., pale lavender. Anthers 1.5-2 mm long.

Berry depressed globular, 10 mm diam., light brown, the skin brittle. Seeds 3-3.5 mm long, light brown, winged. n=12.

A DELTA-generated description can be seen at http://delta-intkey.com/solanum/www/pugiuncu.htm

Distribution and ecology

Known only from north-western Qld, N.T. and the Kimberley area of W.A. Grows in heavy soil on margins of seasonally flooded flats and lagoons.

Relationships

The only member of the S. pugiunculiferum group of subgen. Leptostemonum according to Bean (2004). Also recognised by Symon (1981) as the only member of its section.

Distinctive by its lack of stellate hairs, one of the defining features of subgenus Leptostemonum, but also for its tiny flowers with very long filaments, mature dry fruits and occupation of a saline habitat.

Bean indicated that its closest relationships were with the S. hystrix group. However Levin et al.'s (2006) molecular results suggest closer relationships to S. nemophilum and S. nummularium , species belonging to the S. densevestitum and S. esuriale groups respectively of Bean's classification. Clearly further study is required to clarify its relationships within subg. Leptostemonum.

Notes

Western Australian specimens from the Great Sandy Desert previously attributed to this species are now treated as S. oligandrum  Symon.

The Tomato Leaf Curl virus (TLCV) of northern Australia is a disease causing leaf roll in tomatoes.  TLCV was first found in Australia in Darwin in 1970 and has also been found in several communities and townships on Cape York Peninsula.

Tomato plants affected with TLCV grow slowly and become stunted or dwarfed. Leaflets are rolled upwards and inwards.  Leaves are often bent downwards and are stiff rather than limp as with wilted plants.  Leaves are thicker than normal, of a leathery texture and often have a purple tinge to the veins on their underside. Young leaves are slightly chlorotic (yellowish). The flowers appear normal.  Fruit, if produced at all, are small, dry and unsaleable.

This virus has been found once on Solanum pugiunculiferum.

Information taken from Biosecurity, DPI, Queensland at www.dpi.qld.gov.au/health/4250.html

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Selected specimens

N.T.: Legune Stn, 24 July 1971, J. Aldrick (AD, DNA, NT). Qld: Karumba, L. Pedley 2103 (BRI, NSW); near Burketown, D.E. Symon 5000 (AD, CANB, NSW).

Plant status, if any

Conservation status as a plant of least concern in theNorthern Territorysee www.nt.gov.au/nreta/wildlife/animals/native/pdf/plants_lcs-z.pdf

From the web

Further information on S. pugiunculiferum in WA can be found on the FloraBase site.

Further information and links for this species can be found on the Solanaceae Source site.