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  1. Family: Solanaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Solanum L.
      1. Solanum richardii Dunal

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Kenya to S. Tropical Africa, Comoros, Madagascar.


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

    Type: Madagascar, Richard s.n. (P00352404!, lecto., designated here)
    Prostrate or climbing shrub to 2 m, heavily armed; young stems sparsely to densely stellate-pubescent, trichomes porrect, translucent or orange-brown to bright orange, sessile or stalked, stalks 0.1–0.5(–1.5) mm, rays 4–8, 0.1–0.4 mm, midpoints shorter than rays or up to 1.5 mm; prickles curved, 1–10 mm long, 1–5 mm wide at base, flattened
    Leaf blades drying discolorous, green-brown to red-green, ovate to elliptic, 7–22 × 5–13 cm, 1.5–2.5 times longer than wide, base cordate (truncate or cuneate), usually oblique, margin lobed or sometimes entire, the lobes (1–)3–6 on each side, broadly rounded to deltate, oblong, or obovate, up to 5 cm long, rounded to acute, extending 1/3–3/4 of the distance to the midvein, frequently with secondary lobing; apex acuminate to obtuse; moderately to sparsely stellatepubescent, trichomes on abaxial surface porrect, sessile or stalked, stalks 0.1–0.2(–1.2) mm, rays 6–8, 0.1–0.3 mm, midpoints same length as rays or shorter, adaxially glabrescent, the trichomes reduced; primary veins 5–10 pairs; petiole 1–8 cm, 1/2–1/5 of the leaf length
    Inflorescences not branched or branched once, 6–11 cm long, with 3–10 flowers; peduncle 2–25 mm long; rachis 1–5 cm long; peduncle and rachis usually with numerous prickles; pedicels 1–2.5 cm long, in fruit 2–4 cm long, with numerous prickles
    Flowers heterostylous, 5-merous, the basal 1–6 long-styled
    Calyx 7–15 mm long, lobes deltate to ovate, 5–12 mm long, acute to somewhat acuminate, densely armed with 10–100 prickles
    Corolla mauve to purple, 3.5–6 cm in diameter, lobed for 1/2–3/4 of its length, lobes broadly deltate, 10–20 × 8–20 mm
    Stamens equal; anthers 8.5–11.5 mm
    Ovary stellate-pubescent in the upper 1/3 only; style 10–20 mm long on long-styled flowers
    Berries 2–6 per infructescence, glaucous green with dark green markings when young, yellow to orange at maturity, often elongate when young, 3–5 cm in diameter; fruiting calyx with 10–100 prickles
    Seeds 3–4 × 3–3.7 mm
    Disturbed areas, open bushland with grass, open forest, thickets and roadsides; 0–1300 m
    This attractive and commonly collected species with large showy flowers and prominent hooked prickles is morphologically fairly uniform and immediately recognisable across Madagascar, Mozambique, Zambia and Malawi. Tanzanian populations appear to be more diverse and occasional Tanzanian specimens have smaller leaves, smaller flowers, and smaller anthers, intermediate with the higher elevation S. stipitatostellatum and the coastal small-flowered S. zanzibarense. Individuals with entire leaves and dense orange indumentum on fertile branches have previously been recognised as S. burtt-davyi but such morphological forms are occasional and not geographically coherent.
    Range: Comoros, Madagascar Range: Congo-Kinshasa, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe Flora districts: T3 T6 T7 T8 P Z

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

    Erect, climbing or sprawling herb or shrub to 0.3–2.6 m, armed; hairs stellate, sessile to stalked, regular to irregular and then often pauciradiate with a relatively long central ray, soft or ± rigid and then occasionally irritant, fuscescent to rufescent on new growth; prickles straw-coloured to golden-yellow, sometimes becoming fuscous to reddish at least upwards, to 11 mm long and 9 mm wide at the base, ± stout, recurved to acicular, extremely sharp, glabrous or hairy at the base
    Branches usually conspicuously hairy and prickly
    Leaves solitary or sometimes appearing geminate; petiole (0.5)1–6(7.5) cm long; lamina membranous, (3)4–19(23) × (1. 2)1. 5–11. 5(13) cm, broadly elliptic to ovate or ovate-lanceolate, base ± cordate or truncate, rounded to cuneate, and ± unequal-sided, apex acutely acuminate to obtuse, deeply sinuate-lobed or divided to repand, the lobes ± triangular to narrowly elongate, entire to somewhat sinuate-repand, rounded or obtuse to acutely acuminate, the sinuses rounded between the lobes, tomentose at first, becoming moderately hairy to scabrous above, paler and more densely hairy beneath, the hairs fuscescent to rufescent, rarely greyish-white, and also rusty-red on midrib and other nerves, somewhat longer radiate and softer than above, both surfaces with ± straight prickles mostly on midrib and secondary nerves, more recurved and denser beneath
    Cymes lateral, leaf-remote or leaf-opposed, unbranched, racemiform, 2–12-flowered, often the lowest flower(s) hermaphrodite and fertile, rarely all so, occasionally flowers solitary, usually ± densely hairy, sparingly armed, the prickles straight or somewhat recurved, rarely ± unarmed; peduncle 0–6 cm long; pedicels 1–3.5 cm long, slender, moderately prickly, more densely so distally, the prickles short, not very recurved, to ± unarmed, erect, leaving raised scars after abscission, in fruit elongated to 4.5 (or more) cm, strongly thickened distally and stout, nodding or reflexed
    Flowers large, showy, 5(6)-merous
    Calyx deeply lobed or divided, becoming ± stelliform, densely clothed with fuscescent to rufescent, rarely rusty-red, hairs, ± densely armed with ± straight, short prickles, more abundant at the base and on fertile flowers; tube 5–10 mm long, campanulate; lobes foliaceous, 5–15(20) × (2)3–10 mm, ovate or broadly triangular to elongate-lanceolate, sometimes elliptic-ovate, acute to long-acuminate, in fruit to 25 × 15 mm
    Corolla blue or violet, often with deeper central vein and paler marginal area in each petal, (1. 3)3–5.5(6) cm across, campanulate to rotate-stelliform; lobes (7)14–27 × (2.5)10–20 mm, ovate-lanceolate or broadly lanceolate, sometimes oblong-ovate, acute or ± acuminate, ± densely hairy on the median region to ± glabrous on the membrane between the lobes outside and moderately hairy on the midrib inside
    Stamen filaments 1–2 mm long; anthers 5–14 mm long, elliptic-oblong to lanceolate in outline, emarginate at both ends or cordate basally
    Ovary 2–3 × 2–2.3 mm, ± globose to ovoid-ellipsoid, densely hairy all over to glabrous towards the base, 2-locular.
    Style 4–25(30) mm long, much shorter in male flowers, gradually thickened and recurved to the apex, shortly hairy on the lower two thirds
    Fruit glossy, white striped or greyish-white becoming yellowish or golden to red when ripe, 3–4.5(5) cm in diameter, ± globose to ellipsoid, glabrous
    Seeds numerous, pale to brownish, 3.5–5 × 3–4 mm, strongly flattened, discoid to reniform, conspicuously reticulate all over

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

    Climbing; prickles straw-coloured, rusty-red to the apex; hairs rusty-red
    Petiole 1–3 cm long; lamina (3)4–8 × (1. 2)1. 5–3.8 cm, repand to shortly and scarcely lobed, with whitish ± greyish hairs dense on both surfaces, subsessile above and long stalked beneath, and also with rusty-red hairs sparse on the midrib and secondary nerves mainly beneath
    Calyx lobes elliptic-ovate, up to 7 × 5 mm
    Rain forest, by stream; shady places.
    When better known should perhaps be treated as a separate species.
    Also in Tanzania. MAL C Malawi

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

    Type: Zimbabwe, Chipinge Distr., Chirinda Forest, 1200–1300 m, Swynnerton 93 (B, ?holotype, prob. destr.; BM; K (2 sh.), ?isotypes).
    Climbing or scrambling, 0.6–1. 5 m high; prickles somewhat dull dark brown to the apex; hairs brownish to reddish
    Petiole 1–6(7) cm long; lamina (3.5)4–15(17) × (2)2.5–11. 5(12) cm, sinuate-lobed to divided, with brownish to reddish hairs on both surfaces, the central ray longer than the lateral rays above
    Calyx lobes elongate-triangular or lanceolate, up to 15 × 4 mm
    Dense, often evergreen or moist forests, sometimes in glades or at the edges, grass savanna, coastal belt on sandy soils; up to c. 1220 m.
    Known only from Zimbabwe and Mozambique. ZIM E, MOZ MS, MOZ GI Mozambique Zimbabwe



    Native to:

    Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe


    Other Data

    Solanum richardii Dunal appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Mar 1, 2011 Congdon, T.C.E. [182], Tanzania K000441619
    Mar 1, 2011 Congdon, T.C.E. [182], Tanzania K000441620
    Mar 1, 2011 Luke, W.R.Q. [6597], Tanzania K000441622
    Mar 1, 2011 Luke, W.R.Q. [11278], Tanzania K000441633
    Mar 1, 2011 Iversen, S.T. [86773], Tanzania K000441621
    Jan 1, 2001 Barthelat, F. [372], Comoros K000212396
    Jun 30, 1905 Milne-Redhead, E. [1169], Zambia K000441872
    Jun 30, 1905 Brass, L.J. [17870], Malawi K000441869
    Jun 30, 1905 Wright, J.M. [22], Zambia K000441871
    Jun 30, 1905 Brummitt, R.K. [11415], Malawi K000441868
    Jun 30, 1905 Wild, H. [17984], Zimbabwe K000441874
    Jun 30, 1905 Torre, A.R. [2888], Mozambique K000441873
    Jun 30, 1905 Pope, G. [528], Mozambique K000441875
    Jun 30, 1905 Honey, T. [721], Mozambique K000441876
    Jun 30, 1905 Anonymous [114], Zambia K000441870
    Milne-Redhead, E. [7606], Tanzania 22950.000
    Greenway, P.J. [8626], Tanzania K001157885
    Eggeling, W.J. [6426], Tanzania K001157867
    Eggeling, W.J. [6753], Tanzania K001157868
    Robson, N.K.B. [1466], Malawi 7130.000
    Robson, N.K.B. [1466], Malawi K001158727
    Jackson, G. [1768], Malawi K001158728
    Richards, H.M. [13700], Zambia 6648.000
    Fanshawe, D.B. [F5166], Zambia K001158714
    Fanshawe, D.B. [F5165], Zambia K001158715
    Fanshawe, D.B. [7809], Zambia K001158716
    Whellan, J.A. [1377], Zambia K001158720
    Milne-Redhead, E. [7606], Tanzania K001157869
    Milne-Redhead, E. [7606], Tanzania K001157872
    Trapnell, C.G. [1457], Zambia K001158719
    Faulkner, H.G. [3690], Tanzania K001157879
    Faulkner, H.G. [1770], Tanzania K001157880
    Faulkner, H.G. [1770], Tanzania K001157881
    Faulkner, H.G. [4069], Tanzania K001157882
    Brummitt, R.K. [8442], Malawi K001158732
    Brummitt, R.K. [11415], Malawi K001158735
    Cribb, P. [11078], Tanzania K001157886
    Cribb, P. [11076], Tanzania K001157891
    Mhoro, B. [157], Tanzania K001157883
    Mhoro, B. [412], Tanzania K001157892
    Adamson, G. [114], Malawi K001158733
    Semsei, S.R. [3395], Tanzania K001157887
    Semsei, S.R. [3395], Tanzania K001157888
    Johnson, W.P. [s.n.], Central African Republic K001158731
    Richards, H.M. [17715], Tanzania K001157871
    Richards, H.M. [13700], Zambia K001158713
    Richards, H.M. [9092], Zambia K001158722
    Luke, P.A. [4875], Tanzania K001157866
    Baron, R. [1525], Madagascar K000212400
    Baron, R. [176], Madagascar K000212402
    Baron, R. [5479], Madagascar K000212404
    Baron, R. [5422], Madagascar K000212405
    Baron, R. [5229], Madagascar K000212406
    Hildebrandt, J.M. [1625], Comoros K000212394
    Parker, G.W. [s.n.], Madagascar K000212403
    Cruse, A. [18], Zambia K001158718
    Humblot, M. [30], Madagascar K000212398
    Buchanan, J. [36], Malawi K001158734
    Buchanan, J. [494], Malawi K001158736
    Allen, C.E.F. [21], Mozambique K001158712
    Phillipson, P.B. [3411], Madagascar K000212397
    Goetze, W. [384], Tanzania K000414126
    Bouton [183], Madagascar K000212401
    Goldsmith, B. [221/62], Zimbabwe K001158709
    Anderson, B. [780], Tanzania K001157870
    Pawek, J. [11524], Malawi K001158737
    Vaughan, J.H. [1854], Tanzania K001157875
    Vaughan, J.H. [1854], Tanzania K001157876
    Vaughan, J.H. [942], Tanzania K001157877
    Barthelat, F. [211], Comoros K000212395
    Salubeni, A.J. [3964], Malawi K001158725
    Salubeni, A.J. [949], Malawi K001158730
    Lawrence, E. [478], Malawi K001158724
    Lawrence, E. [478], Malawi K001158738
    D'Arcy, W.G. [17515], Comoros K000212392
    Mbago, F.M. [2138], Tanzania K001157873
    Milne-Redhead, E.W.B.H. [1169], Zambia K001158717
    Drummond, R.B. [1935], Tanzania K001157884
    Drummond, R.B. [1935], Tanzania K001157890
    s.coll [H1486/25], Austria K001169949
    s.coll [3296], Tanzania K001157874
    s.coll [94/OB], Tanzania K001157889
    s.coll [8298], Zambia K001158721
    s.coll [s.n.] K001158729
    s.coll. [s.n.], Madagascar K000212399
    Mbailwa [110], Tanzania K001157878
    Schlieben, H.-.J. [11302], Comoros K000212393
    Crawford, F.C. [FC614], Mozambique K000787561
    Muvunga, A. [615], Mozambique K001158711
    Scott Exp [? [s.n.], Malawi K001158726
    Dec 1, 1989 Burtt-Davy, J. [21193], Malawi Solanum richardii var. burtt-davyi K000414074 Unknown type material
    Dec 1, 1989 Swynnerton, C.F.M. [93], Zimbabwe Solanum richardii var. acutilobatum K000414075 Unknown type material
    Dec 1, 1989 Swynnerton, C.F.M. [93], Zimbabwe Solanum richardii var. acutilobatum K000414076 Unknown type material
    Cruse, A.W. [210], Zambia Solanum acanthocalyx 11188.000
    Meller, C.J. [s.n.], Comoros Solanum acanthocalyx K000212389
    Meller, C.J. [s.n.], Comoros Solanum acanthocalyx K000212391


    First published in , Suppl. 3: 775 (1814)

    Not accepted by

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


    Flora Zambesiaca

    • Beentje, Kenya Trees, Shrubs & Lianas: 582 (1994).
    • Garcia de Orta, Sér. Bot. 11: 69 (1993).
    • D'Arcy, Solanac. Biol. & Syst.: 50 (1986).
    • Gentes Herb. 12: 263 (1984).
    • Kirkia 10: 273 (1975).
    • Agnew, Upland Kenya Wild Fl.: 528 (1974).
    • Fanshawe, Check-list Woody Pl. Zambia Showing Distrib.: 40 (1973).
    • Binns, First Check List Herb. Fl. Malawi: 99 (1968).
    • F. White, For. Fl. Northern Rhodesia: 376 (1962).
    • Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 9: 10 (1954).
    • Brenan & Greenway, Check-list For. Trees Shrubs Tang. Terr.: 587 (1949).
    • Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 16: 176 (1923).
    • A. de Candolle, Prodr. 13, 1: 325 (1852).
    • Solan. Syn.: 45 (1816)
    • Lamarck, Encycl. Méth. Bot., Suppl. 3: 775 (1814)

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • F.Z. 8(4): 109 (2005).
    • K.T.S.L.: 582 (1994)
    • T.T.C.L.: 587 (1949)
    • Poir., Encycl., Suppl. 3: 775 (1814)


    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca

    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.