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

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Ethiopia to E. Tropical Africa.


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

    Leaves usually alternate, occasionally opposite, usually coarse and coriaceous, dark green, obovate or ovate, sometimes lanceolate, 1.2–4.5(–6) × 0.6–2(–3) cm, bases cuneate and decurrent, margins entire, apices acute to obtuse, often appearing mealy, surfaces prominently strigose/pilose, denser on margins, veins, midribs and on lower surfaces with often densely pubescent domatia; petioles 0.3–1(–2) cm. Inflorescences terminal or lateral, leaf-opposed to extra-axillary umbellate cymes, usually simple, rarely branched when a basal pedicel arises from the peduncles below the main cluster, 2–5 cm long, (2–)3–7(–11)-flowered; peduncles erect in flower and in fruit, 1–3.6 cm long, pilose to glabrescent usually with some branched hairs, always with collar of dense short hairs around junction with pedicels; pedicels slender, 0.8–1.5 cm long and erect in flower, 0.6–2 cm and erect in fruit to semi-reflexed, pubescent as peduncles
    Calyx cupulate, (2.5–)3–4(–5) mm long, pilose externally with short hairs; lobes triangular, 1.2–3.5(–4) × 1–2(–3) mm, acute, apiculate or extended-ligulate, often with apical tufts of short hairs; persistent and adherent becoming reflexed in fruit when 1–3 × 1.5–1.8 mm
    Corolla purple or blue, occasionally white, stellate, 1.2–2(–2.6) cm diameter with tube 1–1.3 mm long, lobes broadly ovate, (3.5–)4.5–8 × (1.5–)2–3.5 mm, densely pilose/papillate with short hairs externally, glabrous internally, often inrolled with densely papillate margins, strongly reflexed to pedicels after anthesis
    Stamens usually equal; filaments free for 0.5–1.5 mm, ± glabrous; anthers bright yellow often drying brown especially on the apical dehiscence margin, often unequal, 2.5–3.6(–4.5) × 0.8–1.5 mm, free and often spreading
    Ovary green, 1–1.4 × 0.7–1 mm, glabrous; style geniculate becoming straight, 5–9 × 0.2–0.4 mm, always exserted up to 4 mm, glabrous; stigma capitate, often bilobed, 0.3–0.6 mm diameter
    Fruit erect to semi-reflexed, red, usually globose, occasionally ovoid, 4.5–10 mm broad and 4–8 mm long, with shiny smooth coriaceous pericarp
    Seeds 5–9 per berry, yellow, ovoid to orbicular, 2–2.5 × 1.8–2 mm, foveolate; sclerotic granules absent, rarely one miniscule present
    Fig 16/10 & 11, p 109
    On poor soils such as in roadsides, heathlands, plateau grassland, volcanic rocks, bare ground, plantation margins, mixed Acacia scrub, also found in wetter and often shady habitats including grassland, stream-banks, drier forest with Juniperus, Olea, Hagenia and Rapanea, woodland, thickets and Acacia lahai woodland; 700–3050 m
    These is little doubt from the extant holotype that S. stolzii is synonymous with S. nakurense. Agnew’s (1994) illustration of S. terminale clearly portrays S. nakurense. However, his descriptions confirm that both species are locally common in upland Kenya, with S. nakurense occurring in evergreen upland bushland, and S. terminale favouring wet lowland forest edges. Bitter (1917) thought the climbing or twining African species, loosely associated with Dunal’s (1852) subsection Dulcamara, formed a distinct group and described them as the new section Afrosolanum Bitter, which he separated into the two series, Nakurensia Bitter and Bifurca Bitter. He retained the section Dulcamara (Dunal) Bitter for the Eurasian taxa closely related to S. dulcamara sensu stricto. Although Dammer (in E.J. 38 (1906) & 48 (1912) & 53 (1915) and in Z.A.E. 2 (1914)) had already described many new species associated with this species group, Bitter (1917 & in F.R. 18 (1922)), recognised more than 24 new taxa plus many infraspecific taxa in his new section. Most of these were based on minor vegetative characters, such as leaf variation and topological hair morphology, characters which are notoriously variable in Solanum species and usually of little value in species delimitation. Heine (in K.B. 14 (1960)) thought that his excessive splitting of these species was partly due to his revision being based on Berlin herbarium material and his inability to consult that from other European herbaria. Bitter (1917) allocated S. nakurense together with S. stolzii and S. mangaschae to his series Nakurensia. Though often confused with S. terminale, typical S. nakurense is a low shrubby non-scandent small-leaved species usually with simple few-flowered inflorescences. However it is largely confined to tropical East Africa with the few specimens found in Ethiopia being small individuals and with some being morphologically intermediate with S. terminale (e.g. Purseglove 3025 ( U 2)). A few specimens of this species have been decribed as either being parasitic or epiphytic in that they were found growing on tree trunks in K 2, T 2 and T 7. Sepal shapes seem to be extremely variable in this taxon, sometimes varying from broadly triangular to apiculate to ligulate often between inflorescences on the same plant. Very few specimens are fruiting, and those that exhibit mature berries contain few seeds, perhaps indicating that the plants are only partially fertile. It is browsed by all domestic animals and especially by goats ( K 3 & 6). The protologue of S. aculeolatum Dammer is brief and fails to mention any inflorescence details. Though Dammer did not give a locality for the holotype of this species, Bitter later gave it the new name S. massaiense so it is possible that he saw Thomas’ specimen in the Berlin herbarium. He later cited both specific names as synonyms of S. nakurense (Bitter 1917). The terminal few-flowered inflorescence and floral dimensions visible on the Edinburgh specimen are characteristic of those found in S. nakurense. The protologue of S. mangaschae points to the synonymy of this species with S. nakurense. However, Bitter (1917) later described the inflorescences as being terminal, forked and 20flowered, which would indicate more affinity with S. terminale. Unfortunately his description did not include any calyx dimensions. The resolution of the correct placement of this name is dependent on the discovery of duplicate type material. The locality of Rosen’s type was not cited by Pax in his very general protologue of this species, though Bitter later added WRSL when he redescribed it in 1917.
    Type: Kenya, Nakuru, Scott Elliott 6800 (K!, holo.; BM!, iso.)
    Erect, scrambling, straggling, creeping or dwarf perennial herb or subshrub, 0.3–2.7 m tall, sometimes rhizomatous or arising from a woody rootstock;
    Stems usually woody basally, often conspicuously lenticellate, pubescent with short predominantly simple but some branched (never stellate) hairs when young, becoming pilose with lignification, all young parts with brown stalked glands
    Flora districts: U3 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 T2 T3 T7 Range: Ethiopia



    Native to:

    Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda


    Other Data

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

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jul 5, 2002 Gillett, J.B. [5149], Ethiopia K000788669
    Jul 5, 2002 Ash, J.W. [2932], Ethiopia K000788671
    Jul 5, 2002 Tekle, H.H. [220], Ethiopia K000788670
    Bally, P.R.O. [B4146], Kenya K000788811
    Scott Elliot, G.F. [6800], Kenya K000096900 Unknown type material
    Glover, P.E. [765], Kenya K000788809
    Whyte, A. [s.n.], Uganda K000096899
    Perdue, R.E. [9288], Kenya K000788813
    Magogo, F.C. [1517], Kenya K000788806
    Padwa, J.H. [65], Kenya K000788807
    Hansen, O.J. [790], Kenya K000788815
    Ngoundai, ? [404], Tanzania K000788735
    Brodhurst-Hill, E. [211], Kenya K000788798
    Stolz, A. [1035], Tanzania Solanum stolzii K000096901 Unknown type material
    Kenya Solanum lykipiense K000096902 Unknown type material


    First published in Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1897: 275 (1897)

    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: 114 (2006).
    • Bothalia 25(1): 49 (1995);
    • U.K.W.F, 2nd ed.: 242 (1994);
    • Blundell, Wild Fl. E. Africa: 190 (1992):
    • Jaeger, Syst. studies Solanum in Africa: 276 (1985, ined.)
    • E.P.A.: 873 (1963);
    • Polhill, Solanum in E & NE Africa: 9 (ined., 1961);
    • T.T.C.L.: 576 (1949);
    • F.P.N.A. 2: 209 (1947)
    • E.J. 54: 448 (1917)
    • F.T.A. 4, 2: 219 (1906)
    • K.B. 1897: 275 (1897)


    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

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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.