Solanum sarachoides Sendtner

Solanum sarachoides plant

Family - Solanaceae

Stems - Erect to ascending or trailing, herbaceous, from thin taproot, fragrant (pungent sweet scent), to +/-40cm long (tall), densely glandular hirsute, angled, divergent, viscid.

Leaves - Alternate, petiolate. Petioles to +/-3.5cm long, dense glandular pubescent(hirsute), winged. Wing to +1mm broad. Blade ovate, to 8cm long, 6cm broad, glandular pubescent, acute, with tissue abruptly contracted at base and then decurrent on petiole. Margins irregularly sinuate to dentate.

Solanum sarachoides leaf

Inflorescence - Flowers in clusters (umbels) of up to 4 flowers from side of stems near nodes. Peduncles 5-6mm long, glandular pubescent (hirsute). Pedicels to 6mm long, glandular pubescent (hirsute).

Flowers - Corolla white, to 8mm broad, glabrous internally, glandular pubescent externally, with 5 shallow lobes. Lobes triangular, 2mm long. Stamens 5, adnate about in upper 1/3 of corolla tube. Filaments 1mm long, greenish, glabrous. Anthers yellow, connivent around style, -2mm long. Style 2.6mm long, densely pubescent near at stigma. Ovary green, glabrous, 1.2mm in diameter, subglobose. Calyx tube to 1.5mm long, densely glandular pubescent(hirsute), 5-lobed. Lobes spreading, to 2.5mm long, acute, dense glandular hirsute internally and externally. Calyx accrescent. Berries globose, green to blackish, translucent, many seeded, to +7mm in diameter, halfway covered(or more) by persistent calyx.

Solanum sarachoides flowerCorolla.

Solanum sarachoides fruitsFruits.

Flowering - July - October.

Habitat - Waste ground, glades, open rocky woods, railroads.

Origin - Native to South America.

Other info. - Good characteristics for identifying this species in the field are the calyx-covered fruits, the white spreading corolla, the viscid, densely glandular hirsute stems, and the ovate, irregularly sinuate leaves. The plant is uncommon in Missouri but is spreading. The species is probably toxic but the fruits are eaten by some birds.

Photographs taken at Dave Rock Conservation Area, St. Clair County, MO., 7-27-00.


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