Solanum viridifolium Dunal, in A.DC., Prodr. 13: 73 (1852).
T: Near Cape Grafton (Qld), J. Banks & D.Solander s.n.; holo: BM. An image of the type specimen can be seen on the Solanaceae Source site.
S. viride R.Br., Prodr. 445 (1810) nom. inval. non S. viride G.Forst. ex Spreng., Mant. prim. fl. hal. 37 (1807).
T: “prope littus inter … harbors ad Port I and Broadsound” R. Brown s.n. [=J.J.Bennett 2664]; lecto: BM fide Symon (1981). An image of Robert Brown's collection can be seen on the Solanaceae Source site.
Erect shrub or small tree to 5 m, green, the young shoots and corolla lobes very sparsely pubescent with minute stellate hairs; prickles present on stems of young plants, absent from mature twigs.
Leaves ovate or elliptic; lamina 7–15 cm long, 3–6 cm wide, concolorous, entire; petiole 1–2 cm long.
Inflorescence often branched, 10–50–flowered; peduncle 1–2 cm long to first fork, sometimes longer; rachis 2–4 cm long; pedicels 1–1.5 cm long, slightly longer in fruit. Calyx 3–5 mm long; lobes triangular with slender apices, 1–3 mm long. Corolla stellate, deeply incised, 15–18 mm diam., dark or pale purple. Anthers 3–5 mm long.
Berry globular, 7–10 mm diam., orange-yellow to red. Seeds 2.5–3 mm long, light grey-brown or yellow. n=12.
Bean's more comprehensive description of this species can be found on the web at http://delta-intkey.com/solanum/www/viridifo.htm
Distribution and ecology
Occurs along coast of eastern Qld and into southern New Guinea, on rainforest margins and disturbed areas.
Grows in soils ranging from basaltic or granitic to sandy coastal dunes.
Symon (1981) included this species within Sect. Irenosolanum Seithe together with S. dunalianum and S. tetrandrum . All are found in the Pacific islands, PNG and northern Australia. All are shrubs or small trees, usually unarmed, have large entire leaves, are glabrous or with only sparse stellate hairs, tapering anthers and red berries.
Whalen (1984) and Bean (2004) both included the same three species within the Dunalianum group of subg. Leptostemonum; none of these species was included in the molecular analysis of the relationships of the species of subg. Leptostemonum conducted by Levin et al.(2006).
The earlier named Solanum viride of Sprengel was based on a Forster collection from Tahiti and so be aware that this name does apply for plants in the Pacific.
For instance S. viride was collected by Banks & Solander from the Society Islands on Cook's first voyage. The artist Sydney Parkinson's completed and very detailed painting of the species from there can be seen on the Natural History Museum London website; see www.nhm.ac.uk/jdsml/nature-online/endeavour-botanical/indexadv.dsml
Garnock-Jones, P. J. 1986. South Pacific plants named by K.P.J. Sprengel in 1807. Taxon 35:127.
Qld: Pascoe River, L.J. Brass 19589 (BRI, CANB); Bingil Bay, L.J. Webb & J.G. Tracey 8351 (AD).
From the web
A photograph of the leaves of S. viridifolium by Hugh & Nan Nicholson can be seen on the Terania Rainforest Publishing Photo Library site.
Further information and links for this species can be found on the Solanaceae Source site.
Images of Australian herbarium specimens can be accessed on the Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Freie Universität Berlin site as "Solanum viride".