Skip to main content
  1. Family: Solanaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Solanum L.
      1. Solanum mauense Bitter

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Kenya to Tanzania.


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

    Type: Kenya, Nakuru District: Mau plateau, between Sandiani and Njoro, alt. 2300–3000 m., Oct., Baker 44 (B†, holo.); neotype: Kenya, Kericho District: Mau area, Glover, Gwynne & Samuel 938 (EA!, neo., designated here; K!, isoneo.)
    Shrub, 0.5–1.5 m, erect, armed; young stems densely stellate-pubescent, trichomes porrect, orange-translucent, stalked, stalks up to 0.6 mm, rays 7–8, 0.1–0.25 mm, midpoints shorter than rays, sometimes to 1.5 mm; prickles curved, 2–4 mm long, 1–3 mm wide at base, flattened
    Leaf blades drying strongly discolorous, yellowgreen, ovate or sometimes elliptic, 4–15(–25) × 1–4.5(–7) cm, 2.5–3(–2) times longer than wide, base cuneate to rounded, often unequal, margin subentire (rarely lobed on mature leaves), apex obtuse to rounded(acute); densely stellate-pubescent on both sides, trichomes on abaxial surface porrect, stalked, stalks 0.15–0.4 mm, rays 7–8, 0.2–0.3 mm, midpoints shorter than rays (1 mm), adaxially with thick stalks 0.1–0.2 mm long, reduced rays and midpoints (midpoints to 1–2 mm); primary veins 5–7 pairs; petiole 0.5–2 cm, 1/5–1/8 of the leaf length
    Inflorescences not branched, 3–4(–6) cm long, with 6–20 flowers, peduncle 1–4 mm long; rachis 0.6–4 cm long; peduncle and rachis unarmed or with 1–2 prickles; pedicels 0.4–0.7 cm long in floweer, in fruit 0.7–1.2 cm long, unarmed or with up to 5 prickles
    Flowers hermaphrodite, 5-merous
    Calyx 3–6 mm long, lobes deltate, 1–2 mm long, acute, unarmed or with 1–4 prickles
    Corolla white to mauve, 1–1.4 cm in diameter, lobed for ± 2/3 of its length, lobes deltate, 3.5–4.5 × 2–3 mm
    Stamens equal; anthers ± 3.5 mm
    Ovary stellate-pubescent in upper 1/5; style 5–7 mm long
    Berries 6–13 per infructescence, evenly green when young, red at maturity, spherical, 6–9 mm in diameter; fruiting calyx usually unarmed
    Seeds 2.5–3 × 1.8–2.5 mm
    Forest edges, secondary bushland, grassland, commonly found along roadsides; 1800–3000 m
    Solanum mauense is an often abundant weedy highland shrub with yellowish, densely hairy entire leaves, numerous small curved yellow prickles, and numerous bright red-orange fruits. This species is easy to recognise and has been accepted in the present circumscription by all treatments published since its discovery. Solanum mauense has in the past been considered part of the diverse S. anguivi sensu lato, previously known as S. indicum L. Solanum anguivi is a variable widespread species present throughout the African highlands and in the Kenyan highlands S. anguivi is replaced by S. mauense, although the two species are partly sympatric. The main distinguishing character of S. mauense is the largely entire leaves.
    Range: Not known elsewhere Flora districts: K3 K4 K6 T2



    Native to:

    Kenya, Tanzania

    Other Data

    Solanum mauense Bitter appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jan 1, 2012 Glover, P.E. [938], Kenya K000795095 isoneotype
    Greenway, P.J. [L850], Kenya K001157759
    Bally, P.R.O. [B4994], Kenya K000441545
    Hepper, F.N. [4914], Kenya K000441547
    Glover [811], Kenya K001157758
    Glover [1211], Kenya K001157760
    Polhill, E. [464], Kenya K000441549
    Polhill, E. [142], Kenya K000441551
    Jack, C. [186], Kenya K000441556
    Polhill, R.M. [259], Kenya K001157757
    Whittall, E. [112], Kenya K000441550
    Whyte, A. [s.n.], Kenya K000441552
    Dowson, W.J. [470], Kenya K001157756
    Croat, T.B. [28338], Kenya K000441555
    Frame, G.W. [143], Tanzania K001157763
    Dümmer, R.A. [1650], Kenya K001157755
    Hill, B. [141], Kenya K000441548
    Kirika, P. [GBK30], Kenya K001157761
    Gosnell, J. [4], Kenya K000441554
    s.coll [50] K000441544
    s.coll [602], Tanzania K001157764
    Taiti, S. [950], Kenya K001157762
    Someren, C. van [s.n.], Kenya K000441553
    Tweedie [734], Kenya K000441542
    Tweedie [734], Kenya K000441546
    Tweedie [4196], Kenya K001157754
    Polhill, M.E. [133], Kenya K000441543


    First published in Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 16: 42 (1923)

    Accepted by

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


    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • K.T.S.L.: 581 (1994)
    • U.K.W.F., 2nd ed.: 243 (1994).
    • F.R. Beih. 16: 42 (1923)


    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

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

    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.