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  1. Family: Solanaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Solanum L.
      1. Solanum usambarense Bitter & Dammer

        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: Tanzania, Lushoto District: Handei near Kwa Mshuza, Holst 8925a (K!, lecto., designated here [best material]; W, Z, isolecto.)
    Shrub, 1–2.5 m, erect, armed; young stems densely stellate-pubescent, trichomes porrect, translucent, sessile, rays 7–8, 0.1–0.2 mm, midpoints 1–2 mm, occasionally reduced to a gland; prickles straight, up to 4 mm long, 1–2 (to 4 on older stems) mm wide at base, round or flattened, inconspicuous
    Leaf blades drying strongly discolorous, the youngest shoots a distinctive orange, ovate, 9–22 × 7–16 cm, ± 1.5 times longer than wide, base cuneate to almost cordate, usually unequal or oblique, margin lobed, the lobes 2–5 on each side, broadly deltate, 1–2 cm long, apically rounded, extending 1/4–1/3(1/2) of the distance to the midvein; apex acute; densely stellate-pubescent on both sides; trichomes on abaxial surface porrect, sessile, rays ± 8, 0.15–0.3 mm, midpoints 0.5–1.5 mm long, adaxially with reduced rays, midpoints to 1–1.8 mm; primary veins 4–5 pairs; petiole 1.5–4.5 cm, 1/5–1/6 of the leaf length
    Inflorescences branched more than once, 5.5–8 cm long, with 20–60 flowers, peduncle 10–30 mm long; rachis 3–6 cm long; peduncle and rachis unarmed; pedicels 0.7–1.1 cm long, in fruit 0.8–1.3 cm long, unarmed or with up to 10 prickles
    Flowers perfect, 5-merous
    Calyx 3–4 mm long, lobes deltate, 0.5–1.5 mm long, acute, unarmed or with 1–4 prickles
    Corolla white to mauve, 0.9–1.2 cm in diameter, lobed for ± 2/3 of its length, lobes deltate, 4–5 × ± 2 mm
    Stamens equal; anthers ± 3.5 mm
    Ovary with a few stellate trichomes; style 4.5–6 mm long
    Berries 15–40 per infructescence, evenly green when young, red at maturity, spherical, 5–8 mm in diameter; fruiting calyx usually unarmed
    Seeds 2.2–3 × 2–2.5 mm
    Forest understorey, forest edges or clearings; 1800–2200 m
    Solanum usambarense is a hirsute mountain shrub with dense many-branched inflorescences with many flowers; it can be distinguished from S. anguivi by its inflorescence axis branching more than once (versus not branching or branching only once in S. anguivi), more than 20 flowers per inflorescence (versus less than 20 in S. anguivi), and recurved, visibly hirsute pedicels (versus recurved or mostly straight, with or without visible indumentum in S. anguivi). The two species are sympatric throughout the distribution range of S. usambarense. Plants with forked inflorescences and trichomes with long midpoints occur in higher altitude populations across Africa, but multiple branching inflorescences with numerous flowers are clearly associated with north Tanzanian and Kenyan mountains. Collections from other Eastern Arc mountains display a continuous range of variation with no identifiable cutoff point between S. usambarense and S. anguivi. Further information on the boundary between S. usambarense and S. anguivi is impossible to obtain from herbarium sheets that only preserve one branch as it is possible that inflorescence branching and flower number varies within individuals and between individuals growing under different environmental conditions.
    Range: Not known elsewhere Flora districts: K1 K3 K4 K6 T2 T3



    Native to:

    Kenya, Tanzania

    Other Data

    Solanum usambarense Bitter & Dammer appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Sep 9, 2009 Cribb, P. [10503], Tanzania K000441519
    Sep 9, 2009 Leliyo, G. [NPGRC/MSB52], Tanzania K000441515
    Sep 9, 2009 Koritschoner, H. [1582], Tanzania K000441510
    Sep 9, 2009 Willan, R.G.N. [116], Tanzania K000441514
    Sep 9, 2009 Nyaki, R.P. [36], Tanzania K000441516
    Sep 9, 2009 Hornby, H.I.E. [833], Tanzania K000441517
    Sep 8, 2009 Grimshaw, J.M. [9441], Tanzania K000441509
    Sep 8, 2009 Ngoundai, S. [111], Tanzania K000441508
    Jul 1, 1905 Drummond, R.B. [2608], Tanzania K000441506
    Jul 1, 1905 Drummond, R.B. [2608], Tanzania K000441507
    Jul 1, 1905 Drummond, R.B. [2243], Tanzania K000441512
    Jul 1, 1905 Drummond, R.B. [2243], Tanzania K000441513
    Jul 1, 1905 Ngoundai, S. [91], Tanzania K000441511
    Bytebier, B. [75], Kenya K001158268
    Richards, H.M. [21872], Tanzania K001158272
    Richards, H.M. [21872], Tanzania K001158273
    Holst, C. [8925a], Tanzania K000413977 syntype
    Grimshaw, J.M. [94304], Tanzania K001158275
    Grimshaw, J.M. [9276A], Tanzania K001158276
    Herlocker, D. [40], Kenya K001158269
    Buchwald [380], Tanzania K000413978 syntype
    Carmichael, W. [1533], Tanzania K001158274


    First published in Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 16: 40 (1923)

    Accepted by

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


    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • T.T.C.L.: 584 (1949).
    • F.R. Beih. 16: 40 (1923)


    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.