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Solanum americanum

Family

Solanaceae

Botanical Name

Solanum americanum Mill.

Miller, P. (1768) The Gardeners Dictionary Edn. 8.: 5. Type: not cited.

Common name

Glossy Nightshade

Weed

*

Stem

Stems up to 1m tall, erect, widely branching, green but often purplish in strong sun, from thickened roots, mostly glabrous but with some strigose hairs on the newest growth, terete or angled, minutely winged from decurrent petiole tissue. Wings to 0.5mm broad, scabrous from strigose hairs and their enlarged bases.

Leaves

Leaves petiolate, petioles 1-4 cm long, shortly pubescent. Blades typically ovate, acute, with wavy margins or a few coarse teeth (the teeth with rounded apices), 6-10 x 3-4cm, sparsely strigose above and below, deep dull green above, light green below.

Flowers

Inflorescence a loose pedunculate umbel or corymb from the sides of the stem in the internodes. Peduncles 1-3 cm long, strigose, erect. Pedicels 5-10 mm long, strigose, spreading to erect in flower, nodding in fruit. Corolla 10 mm diameter, glabrous. Lobes lanceolate-triangular, 4-5 x 1.5-2 mm, hairy on the outside; corolla tube green, 1.8-2 mm long, glabrous. Stamens adnate at the apex of the corolla tube, erect, exserted. Filaments green, 1-1.3 mm long, with spreading hairs on margins. Anthers yellow, 2mm long, converging around the style. Ovary superior, green, glabrous, ovoid, 1-1.2 mm long in flower. Style green, glabrous in the apical half, hispidulous in the basal half, 2.5-4 mm long. Stigma globose-capitate.

Fruit

Berries glossy black, succulent, readily shed when ripe, pedicels enlarges 4X in fruit, erect or recurved in fruit, up to 4 cm long, calyx somewhat enlarged and often reflexed. Seeds numerous, 1-1.5 mm long, compressed, testa minutely reticulate and areolate.

Seedlings

Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ, CQ and NSW. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1540 m. Grows in disturbed moist areas and along tracks and roads through rainforest, mixed forest, various types of woodland and occasionally in wooded grassland. Also from

Natural History

The overripe fruit is edible and can be used for making jam and jellies, green fruit contain many alkaloids and thus poisonous (Tull 1999).

WA

X

NT

X

CYP

X

NEQ

X

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)

X

RFK Code

4280