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  1. Family: Solanaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Solanum L.
      1. Solanum melastomoides C.H.Wright

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


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

    Type: Somalia, Bwobi, March 1885, James & Thrupp s.n. (K! [K000701275], lecto., designated here [best material]; K!, isolecto.)
    Erect herb or shrub to 1(–3) m, armed; young stems densely stellate-pubescent, trichomes porrect, translucent, sessile or stalked, stalks to 0.1 mm, rays 8–9, 0.1–0.25 mm, midpoints reduced; prickles 5–10 mm long, 0.5–6 mm wide at base, straight or slightly curved
    Leaf blades drying concolorous to slightly discolorous, dull green, sometimes reddish, ovate to elliptic, (1.5–)2–4(–5) × 1.3–2.2(–3.2) cm, base attenuate to cuneate, usually equal, margin shallowly sinuate (entire), lobes 1–2(–3) on each side, shallow or semicircular, rarely obovate, apically rounded, up to 0.8 cm long, extending up to 1/4 (–3/4) of the distance to the midvein; apex rounded; stellate-pubescent on both sides, trichomes on abaxial surface porrect, sessile or stalked, stalks to 0.1 mm, rays 4–10, 0.1–0.25 mm, midpoints reduced, trichomes of adaxial surface smaller; primary veins (1–)3–6 pairs; petiole 0.6–1(–1.5) cm, 1/4–1/2 of the leaf length
    Inflorescences not branched or branched once, 3–4.5 cm long, with 2–6(–8) flowers; peduncle 0–13 mm long; rachis 0.1–2 cm; peduncle and rachis usually unarmed; pedicels 0.8–1.5 cm long, in fruit 1.2–1.7 cm long, unarmed
    Flowers largely perfect, 5-merous. Calyx lobes ovate to widely deltate, 2–3(–4.5) mm long, obtuse to acuminate, unarmed
    Corolla mauve, noticeably zygomorphic, 2–2.8 cm in diameter, lobed for 1/4–1/2 of its length; lobes broadly deltate, 4–7 × 7–12 mm
    Stamens unequal, free portion of the short filaments 0.7–1 mm long, free portion of the long filament 4.7–7.2 mm long; anthers 4.5–7 mm
    Ovary stellate-pubescent; style 10–16 mm long, curved
    Berries 1–3 per infructescence, spherical, 1.2–1.8 cm in diameter; fruiting calyx unarmed. Seeds 2.5–3 × 2–2.4 mm, almost black.
    Open bushland or rocky places, on limestone or red sand; ± 750 m
    Easy to identify with one stamen filament 4–6 mm longer than the others, and fruit filled with black seeds; distinguished from S. coagulans by its unarmed non-accrescent calyx. Only one collection from the FTEA area is known. The sheet cited in the protologue of S. melastomoides (Wright, 1894) contains two James & Thrupp collections. The syntype from Harradigit has uncharacteristically large leaves, inflorescences, and flowers, and a greater cover of prickles; the syntype from Bwobi is chosen as the lectotype because its smaller size and the presence of darker curved spines make it more representative of S. melastomoides. In the F.T.A. Wright (1906) cited a second specimen of S. melastomoides, collected by Miss Edith Cole from Dooloo, and Bitter (1923) has repeated this. Jaeger (1985) correctly identifies the type as James & Thrupp s.n. but does not recognise the fact that it constitutes two gatherings. Lester (unpublished manuscript) erroneously adds Cole s.n. to the type citation of S. melastomoides.
    Flora districts: K1 Range: Ethiopia, Somalia



    Native to:

    Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia

    Other Data

    Solanum melastomoides C.H.Wright appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Gillett, J.B. [4108], Somalia K001156447
    Gillett, J.B. [12716], Kenya K001157829
    Gillett, J.B. [12716], Kenya K001157830
    Bally, P.R.O. [B9928], Somalia K001156436
    Bally, P.R.O. [B9909], Somalia K001156441
    Bally, P.R.O. [B11160], Somalia K001156444
    Bally, P.R.O. [B3793], Somalia K001156450
    Lavranos [24942], Somalia K001156446
    Wood, J.R.I. [S/72/126], Somalia K001156433
    Wood, J.R.I. [S/72/126], Somalia K001156449
    Friis, I. [9959], Ethiopia K001156430
    Thulin, M. [10963], Somalia K001156443
    Thulin, M. [9064], Somalia K001156451
    James, F.L. [s.n.], Somalia K000701275 Unknown type material
    James, F.L. [s.n.], Somalia K000701276 Unknown type material


    First published in Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1894: 128 (1894)

    Accepted by

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


    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Fl. Eth. 5: 144, fig. 158.16.1–3 (2006)
    • Fl. Somalia 3: 218 (2006).
    • K.T.S.L.: 582 (1994)
    • K.B. 1894: 128 (1894)


    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
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    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.