Solanum stupefactum Symon, Austrobaileya, 4: 435–437 (1995)
T: Moreton District: northern outskirts of Yarraman, 26º50’S, 151º59’E, 3 April 1975, R. J. Henderson 2286; holo: BRI; iso: CANB.
Solanum sp. 4, Ross in Stanley & Ross, Fl. S.E.Qld 2: 420 (1986)
Solanum sp. Yarraman (V.K.Moriarty 1650): New plant names and taxa Queensland, July 1994 to July 2003
Shrub to 2 m high with clonal regeneration. Prickles 1–5 mm long, straight, spreading or slightly retrorse mainly on the stem, a few on the petiole, rare on the upper and lower leaf surface. All parts with a dense indumentum of stellate hairs, somewhat floccose, slightly rusty.
Leaves broadly lanceolate, to 15 7 cm, though commonly 9 3.5 cm; margin mostly entire, occasionally repand on vigorous leaves; apex acute; base rounded, oblique; veins prominent below; petiole 2–3.5 cm long.
Inflorescence 4–12 flowered, internodal, lowest flower bisexual, upper flowers male; rachis 1–5 cm long; lowest pedicel to 2.5 cm long; upper pedicels 1–1.5 cm long. Calyces densely pubescent; hermaphrodite flower armed, lobes narrow triangular, to 12 mm long; male flower unarmed, lobes narrowly triangular, c. 7 mm long. Corolla of hermaphrodite flower rotate-stellate, to 50 mm diameter, divided scarcely halfway into broad rounded lobes. Anthers to 7 mm long. Ovary densely pubescent; style to 12 mm long. Male flowers smaller, ovary and style vestigial.
Fruiting pedicel to 2 cm long, calyx enlarged to cover base of berry. Berry globose to flattened globose, to 30 mm diameter, finally orange-yellow. Seeds discoid, 3–4 mm diameter, minutely pitted. 2n = 24.
Bean's description of this species can be seen on the web at http://delta-intkey.com/solanum/www/stupefac.htm
Distribution and ecology
Found in SE Qld in the area bounded by Nanango, Pittsworth and Laidley, in disturbed agricultural land.
An andromonoecious species i.e. one in which there are male flowers and bisexual flowers on the one plant. Often there are many male flowers in an inflorescence with 1(-2) bisexual flowers at their base. This characteristic is more usually found in species of northern Australia.
Symon (1995) did not place S. stupefactum in a section but noted that it did not appear to have any close relationship with either S. cinereum or S. campanulatum or to the andromonoecious species of northern Australia.
Bean (2004) placed it in the S. incanum group together with 3 introduced species, S. incanum, S. linnaeanum and S. marginatum.
The DNA studies of Martine et al. (2006, 2009) however indicate that while S. stupefactum is not closely aligned with the other northern Australian andromonoecious species it does form a group with the two other, difficult to place, andromonoecious species of the eastern states, S. campanulatum and S. cinereum .
References: Martine, C.T., D. Vanderpool, G.J. Anderson, and D.H. Les (2006). Phylogenetic relationships of andromonoecious and dioecious Australian species of Solanum subgenus Leptostemonum section Melongena: Inferences from ITS sequence data. Systematic Botany 31: 410-420; Martine, C.T., G.J. Anderson & D.H. Les (2009). Gender-bending aubergines; molecular phylogenetics of cryptically dioecious Solanum in Australia. Australian Systematic Botany 22: 107-120.
Derivation of epithet
The epithet is derived from Latin stupefactus, to be stunned, a reference to the surprise the author felt at finding this species with properties more like species of northern Australia, in southern Queensland.
Qld: Moreton District: adjacent State Forest 289 Yarraman, Mar. 1975, Moriarty 1650, 1655, 1657, 1658 (AD, BRI).
Plant status, if any
Presently without any conservation status, although Bean (2004) recommended that it should be treated as a Vulnerable species.
From the web
Images of S. stupefactum can be accessed through Bean's description of the species at http://delta-intkey.com/solanum/www/stupefac.htm
Images of plants and flowers of this species can be seen on the Brisbane Rainforest Action and Information Network site.
Further information, including a photo, and links for this species can be found on the Solanaceae Source site.