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  1. Family: Solanaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Solanum L.
      1. Solanum wendlandii Hook.f.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Mexico to S. Tropical America.


    Solanaceae, Jennifer M Edmonds. Oliganthes, Melongena & Monodolichopus, Maria S. Vorontsova & Sandra Knapp. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2012

    Type: cultivated in England, Kew, from plants received from Herrenhausen Garden Hannover, Wendland s.n., originally collected in Costa Rica, Wendland s.n. (K!, holo.; K!, iso.)
    Vigorous climber or liana or more rarely a creeper to 7 m high;
    Stems glabrous or with scattered long simple or branched minute hairs when young, with trunk to 8 cm diameter and pale brown bark; scattered stalked club-glands often present throughout, with or without small stout sharp recurved prickles
    Leaves alternate, bright green, membranaceous; variable from simple and ovate, 9–15 × 5–12 cm, to ovate-lanceolate when three-lobed with equal or unequal leaflets to 4 × 2.4 cm above, pinnate on lower branches with 1–6 pairs of ovate acute leaflets and with the lowest pair sometimes petiolulate, bases cordate to cuneate, often unequal (oblique), margins entire, apices obtuse, acute or acuminate; both surfaces typically glabrous but occasionally with sparse long spreading hairs; lower midribs sometimes with small prickles; petioles 3–7 cm long, sometimes with small retrorse prickles to 1.5 mm long
    Inflorescences terminal, pendulous, multiforked, > 50-flowered lax scorpioid or paniculate cymes to 17 cm diameter; flowers ?andromonoecious; pedicels erect and 0.4–1.5(–2) cm long in flower; axes usually glabrous, occasionally sparsely pilose with long eglandular hairs, and scattered stalked glands
    Calyx pale green, cupulate/campanulate, 4–6 mm long, occasionally with scattered hairs basally, otherwise glabrous; lobes ovate, usually equal, 2.2–4 × 2–3.5 mm, acute to apiculate, margins thickened; fruiting posture and dimensions not known
    Corolla pale blue, lilac or purple with a distinct contrasting star reaching to the lobe apices, pentagonalrotate, 2.8–7 cm diameter, shallowly lobed with lateral posture exposing androecium; tube 1.5–2.2 mm long, glabrous internally and externally; lobes broadly triangular, 2–4 × 6–10 mm, acute, glabrous apart from apices with small erect eglandular hairs
    Stamens usually unequal within same flower; filaments white to cream, free for 0.5–3(–5) mm, glabrous; anthers poricidal, yellow, orange or blue, 7–10.5 × 1.3–1.8(–2.4) mm, usually connivent
    Ovary brownish, 0.4–0.8(–2) × 0.8–1.3(–2) mm, glabrous, bilocular; style vestigial or very short within base of the staminal tube, light brown, 0.3–1.5 mm, glabrous; stigma light brown, capitate, sometimes bilobed, 0.2–0.4 mm diameter
    Fruit in clusters at the ends of elongated branches, dark bottle green becoming yellow to red, globose, 1–1.5 cm diameter, glabrous
    Seeds many, greenish-white, reniform, 1–1.2 × 1 mm, flattened; sclerotic granules absent.
    Cultivated in parks and gardens, found occasionally naturalised on roadsides and in montane forests; 1650–1800 m
    This is commonly known as the Potato-vine, the Giant Potato Creeper, Paradise Flower or Costa Rican Nightshade. In the discussion of his Solanum wendlandii group Whalen (1984) described the flowers as dimorphic and andromonoecious; insufficient material was available to verify these observations – though in the flowers examined, filament length varied from stamen to stamen within the same flower, with one filament generally being longer that the others. Moreover, the styles of all flowers dissected were either vestigial or extremely small and embedded at the base of the corollas, though the stigmas seemed well-developed. Symon (1981) commented that in cultivation plants only seem to develop male flowers and that fruit descriptions were rare and contradictory, with reported sizes ranging from 4 cm diameter to that of an apple. However, he ascertained from a Costan Rican source that seed germination of S. wendlandii is poor and that the plants are mostly propagated by cuttings. The fruit and seed characters given above are taken from Symon (1981).
    Flora districts: U4 K3 K4 Range: Europe through India and Sri Lanka to New Caledonia and Australia, Central America and Jamaica Range: Native to Costa Rica, this species is now widely cultivated as an ornamental from tropical to temperate regions of the world for its showy flowers, including Egypt, Cameroon, Rwanda, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe

    Bernal, R., Gradstein, S.R. & Celis, M. (eds.). 2015. Catálogo de plantas y líquenes de Colombia. Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá.

    Nativa y cultivada en Colombia; Alt. 1200 - 1900 m.; Andes.
    No Evaluada



    Native to:

    Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Nicaragua, Panamá, Peru, Venezuela, Venezuelan Antilles

    Introduced into:

    Angola, Cameroon, Caroline Is., Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Haiti, Jamaica, Jawa, Kenya, Malawi, Marquesas, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nepal, New Caledonia, Niue, Puerto Rico, Rwanda, Réunion, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe


    Other Data

    Solanum wendlandii Hook.f. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jan 1, 1990 Matuda, E. [17481], Mexico K000064035
    Jan 1, 1990 Donnell Smith, J. [2669], Guatemala K000195648 isosyntype
    Jan 1, 1990 Donnell Smith, J. [2263], Guatemala K000195649 isosyntype
    Jan 1, 1990 Langlassé, E. [1044], Mexico K000064034
    Jan 1, 1990 Vázquez T., M. [583], Mexico K000064036
    Jan 1, 1989 Nee, M. [32334], Mexico K000064037
    Jul 5, 1905 Polhill, R. [EAH-12424], Kenya K000788532
    Jul 5, 1905 Polhill, R. [EAH-12424], Kenya K000788533
    Jul 5, 1905 White, F. [3721], Zimbabwe K000788535
    Jul 5, 1905 Hepper, F.N. [4573], Sri Lanka K000788544
    Jul 5, 1905 Clemens, M.S. [s.n.], Australia K000788548
    Jul 5, 1905 Leeuwenberg, A.J.M. [10198], Cameroon K000788543
    Jul 5, 1905 Plowman, T. [3010], Costa Rica K000788526
    Jul 5, 1905 Simpson, N.D. [5119], Egypt K000788541
    Jul 5, 1905 Simpson, N.D. [5165], Egypt K000788542
    Jul 5, 1905 Biegel, H.M. [4967], Zimbabwe K000788537
    Jul 5, 1905 Matthew, K.M. [40305], India K000788547
    Jul 5, 1905 Padwa, J.H. [42], Kenya K000788531
    Jul 5, 1905 Blackmore, S. [1282], Malawi K000788538
    Jul 5, 1905 Kahurananga, J. [837], Kenya K000788534
    Jul 5, 1905 Furtado, C.X. [s.n.], Singapore K000788578
    Jul 5, 1905 Dang, D. [480], Cameroon K000788539
    Jul 5, 1905 Heyde, E.T. [3442], Guatemala K000788529 syntype
    Jul 5, 1905 Robertson, E.T. [5483], Jamaica K000788546
    Jul 5, 1905 Anonymous [s.n.], United Kingdom K000788536
    Jul 5, 1905 Anonymous [s.n.], United Kingdom K000788540
    Jul 5, 1905 Fraser, L. [200], Guatemala K000788527
    Jul 5, 1905 Fraser, L. [200], Guatemala K000788528
    Bourne [s.n.], India K001153248
    Soakai, E. [233], Tonga K001155550
    Wendland [s.n.], Costa Rica K000195647
    Wendland [s.n.], Costa Rica K000195646
    Plowman, T.C. [3261], Jamaica K001161255
    Valeur, E.J. [668], Dominican Republic K000788545
    s.coll [1069], Paraguay K001162407
    Maesen, L.J.G. van der [4809], India K001153249
    Sneidern, K. von [2595], Colombia K001166572
    Hassler, É. [12316], Paraguay K001162408
    Kostermans [s.n.], Sri Lanka K001153247
    Adams, K.R.A. [3918787], Cyprus K001152201


    First published in Bot. Mag. 113: t. 6914 (1887)

    Accepted by

    • PBI Solanum Project (2014-continuously updated). Solanaceae Source: a global taxonomic resource for the nightshade family
    • Liogier, A.H. (1994). Flora de la Española 6: 1-517. Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo.


    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • F.Z. 8, 4: 71 (2005).
    • Mansfeld, Encycl. Ag. & Hort. Crops 4: 1811 (2001)
    • Bothalia 25: 51 (1995)
    • Flora Egypt 6, Family 159, Solanaceae: 52 (1995)
    • Jaeger, Syst. stud. Solanum in Africa: 336 (1985, ined.)
    • Troupin, Fl. Rwanda 3: 382 (1985)
    • Gentes Herb. 12: 208 (1984)
    • J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4: 69 (1981)
    • Heine, Fl. Nouvelle-Calédonie et Dependences 7: 144 (1976)
    • Ann. Miss. Bot. Gard. 60: 685 (1973).
    • E.J. 81: 292, 330 (1962)
    • Polhill, Solanum in E & NE Africa: 11 (ined., 1961)
    • Bot. Mag. 113: t. 6914 (1887)


    Catálogo de Plantas y Líquenes de Colombia

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

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    Kew Backbone Distributions
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    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.