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  1. Family: Solanaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Solanum L.
      1. Solanum memphiticum J.F.Gmel.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Jordan to Sinai, Eritrea to E. Central & E. Tropical Africa, SW. Arabian Peninsula.

    [FTEA]

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

    Type
    Type: herb. Forsskål Sheet 421 (C!, lectotype designated by Edmonds in K.B. 62: 665 (2007))
    General
    Annual or perennial herb to 1 m high, erect, ascending, spreading or decumbent, with dense branches often arising from woody base or rootstock; stems often light green, densely viscid with all parts covered with mixture of pale long spreading glandular-headed and shorter eglandular-headed hairs; sand and soil particles adhering to these often make the indumentum appear brownish
    Leaves
    Leaves usually light green, ovate, rhomboidal or lanceolate, 2.5–6(–10.5) × 1.5–3.6(–7) cm, bases truncate and decurrent to stems, margins sinuate-dentate to incised with many small obtuse to acute lobes though upper leaves sometimes entire to sinuate, apices acute to obtuse; surfaces villous, hairs as on stems; petioles (1–)2–3.5(–5) cm long. Inflorescences extra-axillary, simple, umbellate in flower, sometimes becoming lax erect cymes in fruit, 3–5(–6)-flowered; peduncles erect, 0.7–1.9 cm in flower and 1.1–2.2(–3.5) cm in fruit; pedicels reflexed, 5–9 mm in flower and 9–13 mm in fruit; axes densely villous
    Calyx
    Calyx campanulate, 2–3.5(–4) mm long, densely villous externally especially on margins of lobes; lobes spatulate to obovate, 0.8–2 × 0.3–0.9 mm, enlarging to triangular and 2.2–4(–5.5) × 1.5–3 mm in fruit, adherent becoming reflexed from berry bases
    Corolla
    Corolla white with translucent, yellow or yellowish-green basal star, occasionally pale purple, sometimes with purple vein to lobes, stellate, 8–15 mm diameter, tube 1–1.3 mm long; lobes ovate to triangular, 2.5–4(–5) × 1.2–2.8(–3.5) mm, villous on outside surfaces, spreading after anthesis
    Filaments
    Filaments light green, 0.5–1(–1.5) mm long, glabrous; anthers yellow, 1–2(–2.5) × 0.5–0.8 mm
    Ovary
    Ovary green, 0.8–1.5 × 0.8–1.4 mm, bilocular; style geniculate becoming straight, green, (2–)2.5–4.5 mm long, lower half pilose or villous, exserted to 1 mm; stigma green, capitate, 0.1–0.4 mm diameter
    Fruits
    Berries purple to black or yellowishgreen when cuticles transulucent, globose to broadly ovoid, 5–9 mm diameter, bases surrounded by adherent acutely triangular calyx lobes; eventually falling with pedicels, often splitting open whilst still on plant
    Seeds
    Seeds up to 63 per berry, yellow to yellowish-brown, obovoid to discoid, 1.4–2 × 1.1–1.6 mm; 1–5 spherical sclerotic granules often present, 0.5–0.7 mm diameter
    Figures
    Fig 17/26–30, p 126
    Ecology
    Forest, bushland, scrub, grassland, lake- and river-banks, lava/rocky and stony areas, disturbed land and roadsides, weed of cultivation, gardens and pasture; 950–2450 m
    Note
    Though the altitudinal collection details differ slightly on the S. subuniflorum BR duplicate of Volkens’ type collection from those cited (1550 m instead of 1580 m), this specimen has been selected as the lectotype of S. subuniflorum. This specimen exhibits all the morphological features generally associated with S. memphiticum, including the dense glandular-haired pubescence, and is clearly conspecific with it. Ethiopian specimens exhibiting a dense viscid pubescence and prominently stellate fruiting calyx lobes have often been identified as S. grossidentatum, though the species named earlier as S. hirsutum by Dunal (1813), and based on S. nigrum L. var. hirsutum Vahl (1791) is conspecific. Both this variety and S. memphiticum Gmel. (1791) - the earliest relevant epithet at specific rank - were based on Forsskål’s Solanum aegyptiacum b) Fructo nigro (1775). Of the three specimens in Forsskål type folder of this species, specimens 421 and 422 are similar to one another and to the types of S. hirsutum and S. grossidentatum, while the third, no. 405 is totally different and seems to be conspecific with S. nigrum sensu stricto. The latter has therefore been rejected as a syntype; specimen 421 has been selected as the lectotype of S. memphiticum and this typification is discussed in Edmonds (2006). The species is tetraploid (cf. Olet, 2004; Manoko, 2007). Despite being characterised by a dense hispid glandular pubescence and having densely pubescent styles, S. memphiticum is unique among African section Solanum species in having glabrous filaments. There are three specimens collected from Kenya which superficially belong to this taxon, but for which the berries are described as red ( Glover & Samuel 3110 – K 6; and Meyerhoff 21 – K 2) and as reddish-orange ( Brodhurst Hill 197 – K 3). Either these citations are erroneous – perhaps based on the fruits after they had dried, or the specimens belong to the glandularhaired subspecies of S. villosum. However, no other specimens of this latter subspecies have been identified from East Africa and their hispid pubescence, characteristic leaf shape and stellate fruiting calyces are more suggestive of S. memphiticum. Lester (in J.L.S. 125: 285 (1997)) stated that although the synonymous S. grossidentatum was originally spelled with an “e” by Richard, it should be corrected to S. grossidentatum. Manoko (2007), thought that his AFLP clustering analysis demonstrated that S. grossidentatum was a distinct species and not a synonym of S. memphiticum; he particularly mentioned differences in berry colour and calyx accrescence. There is considerable variation in the berry colour from blackish-purple to greenish-yellow (when the cuticles are translucent) in the taxon identified as S. memphiticum, which might be geographically related. Analagous berry colour variation is found in S nigrum sensu stricto and in S. tarderemotum and S. florulentum. However, future field work might indicate that the taxon treated as S. memphiticum here is indeed composed of two entities which might warrant formal taxonomic recognition. The earlier suggestion in Edmonds & Chweya (1997) that this synonymous taxon might be conspecific with S. retroflexum Dunal (DC, Prodr., 13(1): 50 (1852)) is now considered erroneous. This latter purple-berried tetraploid relative originally described from South Africa is now thought to have a much more restricted distribution, probably not occurring further north than the Flora Zambesiaca region. Superficially, and especially in some herbarium material, specimens of S. memphiticum resemble those of the South American diploid S. physalifolium Rusby var. nitidibaccatum (Bitter) Edmonds. The latter has been sparingly introduced into southern Africa and their similarity might indicate a common genome. The leaves of S. memphiticum are used as a vegetable in Kenya (K 4–6), and ripe berries are reportedly eaten in U 2 and in Ethiopia (Shashamene). Tweedie (1586 collected in 1958 from K 3/5) thought that this taxon was indigenous to that area, since it was very common in her original garden site which was then virgin bush.
    Distribution
    Range: From Egypt and Arabia to Sudan, through Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea to tropical East Africa Flora districts: U1 U2 U3 K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 T1 T2 T5 Range: Also in Cameroon, Congo-Kinshasa, Malawi and South Africa
    [FZ]

    Flora Zambesiaca. Vol. 8, Part 4. Solanaceae. Gonçalves AE. 2005

    General
    Erect to widely spreading annual to short-lived perennial, usually much branched with ascending branches, (15)20–50(70) cm tall, sometimes flushed reddish or purple, villous with simple, straight or curved, glandular and eglandular hairs
    Branches
    Branches terete or somewhat angular, villous with spreading, mostly glandular hairs (often appearing brown from trapped soil and sand) Branches terete or somewhat angular, villous with spreading, mostly glandular hairs (often appearing brown from trapped soil and sand).
    Leaves
    Leaves solitary or sometimes paired; petiole 0.3–6.8 cm long, ± angled; lamina 1. 3–9 × 0.7–6.2 cm, broadly to narrowly ovate, base sub-truncate or rounded to cuneate, oblique, ± decurrent into the petiole, apex acute or obtuse, ± acuminate, entire to sinuate lobed, both surfaces villous to subglabrous Leaves solitary or sometimes paired; petiole 0.3–6.8 cm long, ± angled; lamina 1.3–9 × 0.7–6.2 cm, broadly to narrowly ovate, base sub-truncate or rounded to cuneate, oblique, ± decurrent into the petiole, apex acute or obtuse, ± acuminate, entire to sinuate lobed, both surfaces villous to subglabrous.
    Inflorescences
    Cymes lateral, unbranched, sub-umbelliform or sub-umbelliform-racemiform, 2–6-flowered; peduncle 0.4–1. 7 cm long, slender, ascending, in fruit elongated to 2.8 cm; rhachis spreading or decurved, with conspicuous or inconspicuous internodes; pedicels 2–6 mm long, slender, hirsute, ascending, in fruit elongated to 11 mm, usually markedly deflexed Cymes lateral, unbranched, sub-umbelliform or sub-umbelliform-racemiform, 2–6-flowered; peduncle 0.4–1.7 cm long, slender, ascending, in fruit elongated to 2.8 cm; rhachis spreading or decurved, with conspicuous or inconspicuous internodes; pedicels 2–6 mm long, slender, hirsute, ascending, in fruit elongated to 11 mm, usually markedly deflexed.
    Ovary
    Ovary c.  1 mm in diameter, subglobose or ellipsoid, glabrous.
    Style
    Style 2–3.2 mm long, straight or obscurely sigmoidal, the level with the tip of the anthers or protruding by up to 1 mm
    Fruits
    Fruits purple to black, 6–8 mm in diameter, subglobose or ellipsoid, without sclerotic granules, poisonous Fruits purple to black, 6–8 mm in diameter, subglobose or ellipsoid, without sclerotic granules, poisonous.
    Ecology
    Rocky places in montane grassland and as a weed of disturbed ground; up to 2350 m.
    Note
    It is possible that S. memphiticum J.F. Gmel. (S. hirsutum (Vahl) Dunal nom. superfl.) is an older name, based on a collection made by Forsskhal in Egypt, the identity of which is still uncertain. The specimen Whyte s.n., from Malawi, Misuku Hills (Masuku Plateau), 2250–2500 m, referred by Dammer in Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 38: 178 (1906) to S. villosum Lam., was not seen by me. It could belong here. Solanum villosum has berries that are red, orange or yellow, not black, and has not been recorded reliably from the Flora Zambesiaca area. The material from the Flora Zambesiaca area mostly approximates closely to S. retroflexum, differing only in the longer and at least partly glandular hairs. It may become considered a variant of that species when studied further. Codd 7443 (BM; K; PRE), from Zambia, Senanga Distr., Shangombo, fl. & fr. immat. 8.viii.1952, has long hairs, but these are all eglandular. Further north the enlarged fruiting calyces are conspicuously stellate with lobes 2.5–5 mm long and adherent to the base of the berries, features not particularly evident in the material from the Flora Zambesiaca area. Chromosome number: 2n=48
    Distribution
    Zambia Malawi BOT SE, ZAM N, ZIM W, MAL N, MAL C, MOZ GI, MOZ M Also from Egypt to Yemen, Dem. Rep. Congo, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Botswana. Mozambique Zimbabwe
    Habit
    Erect to widely spreading annual to short-lived perennial, usually much branched with ascending branches, (15)20–50(70) cm tall, sometimes flushed reddish or purple, villous with simple, straight or curved, glandular and eglandular hairs.
    Calyx
    Calyx 1–2.5 mm long, campanulate or infundibuliform, in fruit elongated to 4 mm, becoming flattened and finally recurved; lobes 0.3–2.3 × 0.3–1 mm, ± semi-elliptic to bluntly deltate, acute or obtuse, ± acuminate, sparsely to moderately pubescent, in fruit enlarged to 3 × 2.5 mm, ± reflexed. Calyx 1–2.5 mm long, campanulate or infundibuliform, in fruit elongated to 4 mm, becoming flattened and finally recurved; lobes 0.3–2.3 × 0.3–1 mm, ± semi-elliptic to bluntly deltate, acute or obtuse, ± acuminate, sparsely to moderately pubescent, in fruit enlarged to 3 × 2.5 mm, ± reflexed
    Corolla
    Corolla white or cream, sometimes flushed with purple or mauve, (4)5–8 mm across, rotate or stelliform; lobes (1)1.5–3.5 × (0.8)1.2–2.2 mm, broadly to narrowly ± triangular, obtuse or acute, puberulous outside. Corolla white or cream, sometimes flushed with purple or mauve, (4)5–8 mm across, rotate or stelliform; lobes (1)1. 5–3.5 × (0.8)1. 2–2.2 mm, broadly to narrowly ± triangular, obtuse or acute, puberulous outside
    Stamens
    Stamen filaments 0.5–1 mm long; anthers (1.3)1.5–2 mm long. Stamen filaments 0.5–1 mm long; anthers (1. 3)1. 5–2 mm long
    Pistil
    Ovary c. 1 mm in diameter, subglobose or ellipsoid, glabrous; style 2–3.2 mm long, straight or obscurely sigmoidal, the level with the tip of the anthers or protruding by up to 1 mm.
    Seeds
    Seeds light brownish-yellow or flushed with purple, (1.3)1.8–2.3 × 1.3–1.5 mm, ± obovate in outline, pitted all over. Seeds light brownish-yellow or flushed with purple, (1. 3)1. 8–2.3 × 1. 3–1. 5 mm, ± obovate in outline, pitted all over
    Cytology
    Chromosome number: 2n=48.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Burundi, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sinai, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen, Zaïre

    Synonyms

    Other Data

    Solanum memphiticum J.F.Gmel. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jun 27, 1905 Greenway, P.J. [7459], Tanzania K000441646
    Jun 27, 1905 Greenway, P.J. [11332], Tanzania K000441653
    Jun 27, 1905 Greenway, P.J. [11096], Tanzania K000441654
    Jun 27, 1905 Tanner, R.E.S. [4530], Tanzania K000441644
    Jun 27, 1905 Tanner, R.E.S. [5617], Tanzania K000441650
    Jun 27, 1905 Friis, I. [8660], Ethiopia K000658428
    Jun 27, 1905 Polhill, R.M. [2342], Tanzania K000441645
    Jun 27, 1905 Polhill, R.M. [1130], Tanzania K000441651
    Jun 27, 1905 Polhill, R.M. [1130], Tanzania K000441652
    Jun 27, 1905 Grimshaw, J.M. [94470], Tanzania K000441643
    Jun 27, 1905 Grimshaw, J.M. [94148], Tanzania K000441648
    Jun 27, 1905 Haarer, A.E. [1209], Tanzania K000441649
    Jun 27, 1905 Richards, H.M. Mrs [24245], Tanzania K000441647
    Jun 25, 1905 Greenway, P.J. [6952], Tanzania K000441642
    Gillett, J.B. [14057], Kenya K001157803
    Gillett, J.B. [19300], Kenya K001157814
    Bally, P.R.O. [B8033], Kenya K001157798
    Bally, P.R.O. [B1023], Kenya K001157802
    Bally, P.R.O. [7788], Kenya K001157806
    Bally, P.R.O. [B872], Kenya K001157807
    Bally, P.R.O. [B5736], Kenya K001157808
    Hepper, F.N. [4912], Kenya K001157799
    Hepper, F.N. [6694], Kenya K001157810
    Napier, E.R. [337], Kenya K001157804
    Williams, G.R. [240], Kenya K001157801
    Glover, P.E. [2744], Kenya K001157790
    Glover, P.E. [3110], Kenya K001157812
    Maitland, T.D. [1290], Uganda K001157783
    Maitland, T.D. [1290], Uganda K001157784
    Maitland, T.D. [1290], Uganda K001157787
    Glover [181], Kenya K001157794
    Stauffer, H.U. [957], Uganda K001157782
    Brummitt, R.K. [16264], Malawi K001158648
    Mwangangi, O.M. [1797], Kenya K001157793
    Dowson, W.J. [298], Kenya K001157788
    Newbould, J.G.B. [3289], Kenya K001157792
    Dümmer, R.A. [1937], Kenya K001157789
    Hill, B. [197], Kenya K001157813
    Kerfoot, O. [3581], Kenya K001157800
    Meyerhoff, E. [21], Kenya K001157811
    Kirika, P. [241B], Kenya K001157815
    Baker, G.S. [346], Kenya K001157791
    Purseglove, J.W. [P3121], Uganda K001157779
    Purseglove, J.W. [P2595], Uganda K001157786
    s.coll [405], Uganda K001157778
    s.coll [s.n.], Uganda K001157780
    s.coll [185], Uganda K001157785
    Olet, E.A. [44], Uganda K001157781
    Someren, G.R.C. van [EA11980], Kenya K001157797
    Tweedie [1068], Uganda K001157777
    Tweedie [1586], Uganda K001157796
    Someren, van [7644], Kenya K001157805
    Mettam, R.W.M. [228], Kenya K001157795

    Bibliography

    First published in Syst. Nat. ed. 13[bis] 2(1): 385 (1791)

    Accepted by

    • Särkinen, T. & al. (2018). A revision of the Old World black nightshades (Morelloid clade of Solanum L., Solanaceae) PhytoKeys 106: 1-223.
    • PBI Solanum Project (2014-continuously updated). Solanaceae Source: a global taxonomic resource for the nightshade family http://www.solanaceaesource.org/.

    Literature

    Kew Backbone Distributions

    • Särkinen, T. & al. (2018). A revision of the Old World black nightshades (Morelloid clade of Solanum L., Solanaceae) PhytoKeys 106: 1-223.

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • K.B. 62: 657 (2007)
    • Fl. Eth. 5: 122 (2006)
    • Fl. Somalia 3: 208 (2006).
    • Jaeger, Syst. studies Solanum in Africa: 303 (1985, ined.)
    • E.P.A.: 872 (1963)
    • Syst. Nat., 2 (1): 385 (1791), non Sendtn.

    Sources

    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0