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  1. Family: Solanaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Solanum L.
      1. Solanum robustum H.Wendl.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Brazil to NE.


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

    Type: Brazil; type specimen not specified
    Shrub or perennial herb to 5 m high; all stems ferrugineous with a dense indumentum of intertwined stalked stellate hairs to 1.5 mm diameter, up to 9-rayed with long central rays, stalks 0–2 mm long, mixed with sessile brown glands; main stems and branches with scattered stout sharp yellow pyramidal prickles to 1.5 × 1.8 mm
    Leaves alternate or opposite, often thick and soft, dark green above, yellow to brown below with orange to brown veins and midrib, ovate, 12–27 × 9–24 cm, bases cordate and oblique, margins deeply sinuate-dentate with 2–4 broadly triangular acute lobes to 6 cm deep, apices acute; upper surfaces stellate-pubescent, hairs thicker and interwoven on midrib and main veins, lower surfaces densely stellatepubescent, the interwoven hairs with unequal rays to 1.3 mm long; scattered prickles present on midribs and upper main veins; petioles 3–20 cm long, decurrent and with wings up to 1.5 cm wide often extending down to next node, with scattered prickles to 2 cm long below
    Inflorescences subterminal to lateral, simple, few- to 20-flowered, lax, helicoid cymes; flowers ?andromonoecious, 5merous, becoming lax in fruit; axes densely ferrugineous, hairs on stems mixed with small glandular hairs; peduncles erect and 1.2–4.5 cm long, with prickles; pedicels usually erect, sometimes recurved apically and 0.5–1.4 mm long in flower, spreading and 1–1.8 cm in fruit
    Calyx green, campanulate/cupulate, 5–9 mm long, stellate-pubescent and with sessile glands externally and internally; lobes lanceolate, 5–9 × 1.8–3.4 m, acute, reflexed between corolla lobes, appressed becoming reflexed in fruit and 5–10 × 2–4.5 mm
    Corolla white, with a contrasting basal star and median veins, stellate, 1.5–2.1 cm radius; tube ± 1 mm long, glabrous; lobes lanceolate to narrowly lanceolate, 7–15 × 2–3.5 mm, stellatepubescent externally, acute with apical tufts of small hairs, glabrous internally except for occasional hairs on veins, corolla reflexed exposing androecium after anthesis
    Stamens equal or unequal; filaments free for 1–3.5 mm, often varying in same flower, glabrous; anthers yellow to brownish, poricidal, 5–7 × 1–1.8 mm, connivent
    Ovary 1.2–2.6 × 1.4–2.5 mm, pubescent with long appressed silky hairs, bilocular; style straight, either enclosed at base of staminal tube when 1.2–3.5 × 0.25–1 mm, or 9–10 × 0.4–0.6 mm when exserted up to 4 mm, pubescent with scattered stellate and small simple glandular hairs in lower half; stigma capitate, 0.2–1 mm diameter. Berries dark green becoming black, globose, 1.2–2 cm diameter, rusty tomentose with simple silky appressed hairs, glabrescent apically
    Seeds > 100, dark brown, obovoid, reniform to orbicular, 1.7–2 × 1.2–1.4 mm, rounded not flattened, reticulate; sclerotic granules absent.
    Secondary vegetation, old cultivation, shamba edges, moist forest margins and clearings, plantations, roadsides; 500–2150 m
    Nee (in Nee et al. (eds), Solanaceae IV: 321 (1991)) commented that species belonging to the group/section Erythrotrichum constitute the most difficult of those in the subgenus Leptostemonum, with its species being difficult to differentiate from those in the section Micracantha. Solanum robustum has been introduced into Africa from S America and is commonly known as the White Potato. Although cultivated as an ornamental this species has become a troublesome weed as an escape from cultivation in T 3 and T 6. Solitary plants of S. robustum have been reported but it often grows in groups which can form impenetrable masses of viciously spiny vegetation. These spines and the dense ferrugineous pubescence composed of varied and complex hairs characterise this species. Not only do stalks and rays of the stellate hairs vary considerably in length, but stalks can also be invested with small spreading multicellular glandular hairs. Plants of this species are reportedly used to treat gonorrhoea and worms in Lushoto.
    Flora districts: T3 T6 Range: Native to Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, also recorded from Reunion and Java Range: Cultivated and now a successful escape which has become locally common



    Native to:

    Argentina Northeast, Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, Paraguay

    Introduced into:

    Canary Is., Hawaii, Mauritius, Réunion, Tanzania


    Other Data

    Solanum robustum H.Wendl. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jan 1, 1997 Burchell [4739], Brazil K001058568
    Jan 1, 1986 Hassler, E. [2385], Paraguay K000590222 isotype
    Jan 1, 1982 Mori, S.A. [14428], Brazil K001058567
    Jan 1, 1973 Anderson, W.R. [36268], Brazil K001058566
    Drummond, R.B. [2874], Tanzania 16659.000
    Tanner, R. [2256], Tanzania K001157915
    Tanner, R. [2256], Tanzania K001157918
    Batty [423] K001157904
    Pedersen, T.M. [6017], Paraguay K001161973
    Krapovickas, A. [41073], Argentina K001167930
    Semsei, S.R. [2787], Tanzania K001157898
    Semsei, S.R. [2787], Tanzania K001157900
    Semsei, S.R. [4128], Tanzania K001157914
    Townsend, C. [71], India K001153188
    Townsend, C. [71], India K001153189
    Klitgaard, B.B. [BK1154], Brazil K000325402
    Batty, M. [357], Tanzania K001157901
    Borhidi, A. [87335], Tanzania K001157916
    Borhidi, A. [87335], Tanzania K001157917
    Haarer, A. [1868], Tanzania K001157905
    Haarer, A. [1868], Tanzania K001157906
    Kerr, J.G. [BP6] K001161972
    Steiner, M. [86441], Tanzania K001157894
    Steiner, M. [86441], Tanzania K001157895
    Ruffo, C.K. [159], Tanzania K001157899
    Schulz, A.G. [15774], Argentina K001167928
    Bruce, E.R. [527], Tanzania K001157903
    Tressens, S.G. [3617], Argentina K001167927
    Tressens, S.G. [3202], Argentina K001167929
    Drummond, R.B. [2874], Tanzania K001157912
    Drummond, R.B. [2874], Tanzania K001157913
    s.coll [H221], Indonesia K001169950
    s.coll [9105], Tanzania K001157908
    s.coll [1382], Tanzania K001157911
    s.coll [285], Paraguay K001161974
    s.coll [1512], Paraguay K001161975
    s.coll [s.n.], Brazil K001161976
    Buzato, S. [20693], Brazil K001058565
    Mshana, H. [49], Tanzania K001157897
    Kyessi [23], Tanzania K001157896
    Burhani [27], Tanzania K001157909
    Hassler, É. [11728], Paraguay K001161977
    Krishnappa, D.G. [155], India K001153191
    Glaziou [8842], Brazil K001058570
    Sw. [s.n.], Brazil K001058569
    Merbold [11981], India K001153187
    Merbold [11981], India K001153190
    Herb Hepper, F.N. [s.n.], Tanzania K001157893
    Welch [380], Tanzania K001157907
    Fridmodt-Moller, C. [TZ005], Tanzania K001157902
    Mohamed, Y. [9105], Tanzania K001157910
    Jan 1, 1990 Hassler, E. [477], Paraguay Solanum concepcionis K000590059 isosyntype
    Hassler, E. [984], Paraguay Solanum concepcionis K000590063 isosyntype
    Balansa, B. [2096], Paraguay Solanum concepcionis K000590062 isotype


    First published in Flora 27(no. 45): 784 (1844)

    Accepted by

    • PBI Solanum Project (2014-continuously updated). Solanaceae Source: a global taxonomic resource for the nightshade family


    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • RHS Gard. Dict. 4: 319 (1997).
    • Jaeger, Syst. stud. Solanum in Africa: 485 (1985, ined.)
    • Gentes Herb. 12: 241 (1984)
    • E.J. 81: 325 (1962)
    • Polhill, Solanum in E & NE Africa: 41 (ined., 1961)
    • T.T.C.L.: 587 (1949)
    • F.R. 16: 182 (1923)
    • DC., Prodr. 13(1): 257 (1852)
    • Fl. Bras. 10: Sp. 72, t. 5, fig. 38–48 (1846)
    • Flora 27: 784 (1844)


    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

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