Solanum pseudocapsicum L.

  • Authority

    Knapp, Sandra D. 2002. section (Solanaceae). Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 84: 1-404. (Published by NYBG Press)

  • Family


  • Scientific Name

    Solanum pseudocapsicum L.

  • Type

    Type. Madeira. Cultivated, Anon, (lectotype, LINN 248.4, designated by D Arcy, 1973; confirmed Knapp & Jarvis, 1991, [BH neg. 6792]).

  • Synonyms

    Solanum diflorum Vell., Solanum capsicastrum Link ex Schauer, Solanum hygrophilum Schltdl., Solanum eremanthum Dunal, Solanum ulmoides Dunal, Solanum karstenii Dunal, Solanum tucumanense Griseb., Solanum validum Rusby, Solanum diflorum var. angustifolium Kuntze, Solanum jaliscanum Greenm., Solanum diflorum var. pulverulentum Chodat, Solanum dunnianum H.Lév., Solanum plurifurcipilum Bitter, Solanum ipecacuanha Chodat, Solanum ipecacuanha var. calvescens Chodat, Solanum ipecacuanha var. obovata Chodat, Solanum capsicastrum var. caaguazuense Chodat, Solanum pseudocapsicum f. pilosulum Hassl., Solanum pseudocapsicum subsp. diflorum (Vell.) Hassl., Solanum pseudocapsicum var. typicum Hassl., Solanum pseudocapsicum subsp. diflorum var. sendtnerianum Hassl., Solanum pseudocapsicum var. hygrophilum Hassl., Solanum pseudocapsicum f. calvescens Hassl., Solanum pseudocapsicum var. ambiguum Hassl., Solanum mexiae Standl., Solanum pavimenti L.B.Sm. & Downs

  • Description

    Species Description - Small shrubs, prostrate to 1 m tall; young stems and leaves glabrous to densely pubescent with dendritic trichomes 0.1-0.5 mm long; stems erect or prostrate, soon glabrous; bark of older stems pale golden brown. Sympodial units difoliate, geminate. Leaves elliptic to narrowly elliptic, glabrous adaxially, occasionally with a few dendritic or simple uniseriate trichomes along the midvein, glabrous to densely pubescent with dendritic (occasionally simple uniseriate) trichomes abaxially, the trichomes golden when dry, the margins often crisped or irregular; major leaves with 4-6 pairs of main lateral veins, 2.5-9 x 0.7-4.5 cm, the apex acute to rounded, the base acute; petiole 0.2-1 cm long; minor leaves differing from the majors only in size, 0.9-3.5 x 0.4-2.7 cm, the apex acute to rounded, the base acute; petiole ca. 0.2 cm long. Inflorescences opposite the leaves, simple, 0.2-1 cm long, with 1-8 flowers, in cultivated forms often with only 1 flower, glabrous to densely pubescent with dendritic trichomes; pedicel scars closely spaced, not overlapping, corky in fruit. Buds ellipsoid, the corolla included in the calyx lobes. Pedicels atanthesis stout, deflexed, 0.3-1 x ca. 0.5 mm diam., glabrous to densely pubescent with dendritic trichomes like the stems and leaves. Flowers with the calyx tube conical, 1-2 mm long, the lobes long-triangular with rounded apices or occasionally spathulate, 1.5-4 mm long (to 6-7 mm long in some cultivated specimens), glabrous to densely pubescent like the rest of the plant; corolla white, 1-1.5(2.5 in cultivars) cm diam., lobed ½ to ¾ of the way to the base, the lobes planar at anthesis, densely papillose on abaxial tips and margins; anthers 3-4 x 1-1.5 mm, dark orange-red in live plants, especially in cultivated plants, poricidal at the tips, the pores teardrop shaped; free portion of the filaments 0.51 mm long, the filament tube 0.5-1 mm long, glabrous; ovaty glabrous; style 5-6 mm long, glabrous; stigma small-capitate, the surface minutely papillose. Fruit a globose berry, green when immature, yellow to deep orange-red when ripe, the pericarp thin and papery; calyx lobes enlarged in fruit, 5-7 mm long; fruiting pedicels erect, woody, 0.8-1 cm long, 0.5-1 mm diam. at the base. Seeds pale tan, flattened-reniform with incrassate margins, 3-4 x 2.5-3 mm, the surfaces minutely pitted, testal cells long-rectangular in outline. Chromosome number: n = 12 (Gerasimenko & Reznikova, 1968 (as 2 n = 24); Randell & Symon, 1976).

  • Discussion

    Solanum pseudocapsicum is a widespread and extremely variable species. Cultivated forms that are generally completely glabrous have been traditionally known as S. pseudocapsicum, while native plants have gone by a variety of names. Degree of pubescence, however, is a continuous gradient throughout the native and introduced range of the species and is not a reliable character with which to differentiate taxa in this group.

    Many of the numerous synonyms of Solanum pseudocapsicum are well-marked geographical variants that taken alone without consideration across the entire species range are distinct. The following are the more clearly marked of these variations.

    1. Cultivated specimens are almost always completely glabrous (occasionally with a few dendritic trichomes on the new growth) and they often have large flowers and fruit. Some apparently native collections from Uruguay, near Buenos Aires, Argentina, and near São Paulo, Brazil, are of this general morphology. The type of Solanum pseudocapsicum was a cultivated plant collected in Madeira (see Knapp & Jarvis, 1991).

    2. Plants with broadly elliptic leaves and small fruits from the province of Tucumán, Argentina, have been called Solanum tucumanense.

    3. Populations with very dense pubescence from high-elevation Bolivia have been called Solanum validum.

    4. In the dry coastal valleys of Venezuela and Colombia plants with small flowers, small fruit, and narrow leaves have been called Solanum karstenii.

    5. Plants with the most common morphology, found in southern Mexico and southern Brazil, have been called Solanum diflorum. Other named populations are merely extremes from this mean.

    The original collection oí Solanum pseudocapsicum that ended up in Clifford’s garden, to be described by Linneaus (1737), probably was brought to Madeira by the early Portuguese traders. Many early introductions of Brazilian plants were effected by this route, and it seems likely that S. pseudocapsicum is another example.

  • Common Names

    hierba enana, ne~n ka~ni~ raiy~nh-si~, laranjinha do mato, revienta caballos, revienta caballos, revienta caballos, sacha ediondilla

  • Distribution

    In drier microhabitats in Central and South America, from Mexico to southern Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay, from sea level to 2600 m. Widely cultivated throughout the world, often escaped in tropical and subtropical areas.

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