Solanaceae Source

A global taxonomic resource for the nightshade family

Solanum chilliasense

Citation author: 
Lorentzia 4: 9. 1981.
Ecuador. El Oro: between Burro Urco and Chilota, Cordillera of Chilla, May 1979, C. Ochoa 13350 (holotype, US00027505; isotypes, CPUN-2 sheets, LE, P, U, US00027506).
Last edited by: 
Spooner, D.M.
Written by: 
Spooner, D.M. & M. Ames
Herbs 0.6-1 m tall, erect. Stems 4-8 mm in diameter at base of plant, green to green mottled with purple, unwinged, glabrous; tubers typically moniliform (multiple tubers arranged along the stolon like beads on a necklace).
Sympodial structure: 
Sympodial units tri- to plurifoliate, not geminate.
Leaves odd-pinnate, the blades 8.7-18.6 x 3.8-14.1 cm, dark green adaxially and abaxially, coriaceous, glabrous adaxially and abaxially; lateral leaflet pairs 1-4, decreasing in size toward the leaf base, with the terminal leaflet considerably larger than the laterals; most distal lateral leaflets 1.3-7.7 x 0.9-2.7 cm, ovate to elliptic, the apex acute to acuminate, the base typically petiolulate and attenuate to rounded, usually symmetric but sometimes asymmetric with more tissue on the basiscopic side; terminal leaflet 6.9-10.9 x 4-4.4 cm, ovate to elliptic, the apex acuminate, the base attenuate; interjected leaflets 0-6, usually sessile, ovate to orbicular; petioles 1-2 cm, glabrous. Pseudostipules 6-8 mm long, glabrous to subglabrous.
Inflorescences 4.5-10.5 cm, terminal with a subtending axillary bud, generally in distal half of the plant, usually forked, with 14-33 flowers, with all flowers apparently perfect, the axes glabrous; peduncle 3.3-6 cm long; pedicels 15-28 mm long in flower and fruit, spaced 3-5 mm apart, articulated slightly above the middle.
Flowers homostylous, 5-merous. Calyx 3-7 mm long, the tube 1-3 mm, the lobes 2-3 mm, usually ovate to lanceolate, with linear acumens 2-3 mm long, glabrous. Corolla 1.8-4.4 cm in diameter, pentagonal to rotate, lilac to blue with white acumens, the tube 1-2 mm long, the acumens 2-3 mm long, the corolla edges flat, not folded dorsally, glabrous adaxially and abaxially. Stamens with the filaments 1-2 mm; anthers 5-8 mm long, lanceolate, connivent, yellow, poricidal at the tips, the pores lengthening to slits with age. Ovary glabrous; style 3-10 mm x ca. 1 mm, exceeding stamens by 1-5 mm, straight, glabrous; stigma clavate to capitate.
Fruit a globose berry, 1.2-1.8 cm in diameter, medium to deep green with dark green stripes when ripe, glabrous.
Seeds from living specimens ovoid and ca. 2 mm long, whitish to greenish in fresh condition and drying brownish, with a thick covering of “hair-like” lateral walls of the testal cells that make the seeds mucilaginous when wet, green-white throughout; testal cells honeycomb-shaped when lateral walls removed by enzyme digestion.
Chromosome number: 

2n = 2x = 24 voucher: Spooner et al. 5057 (PTIS) (Hijmans, et al. 2007)


Solanum chilliasense is endemic to southern Ecuador (Prov. El Oro), in grasslands and among bushes in the Andes, 3200-3450 m in elevation.

Flowering and fruiting around April and May.

Solanum chilliasense is a member of Solanum sect. Petota Dumort., the tuber-bearing cultivated and wild potatoes. Within sect. Petota, Solanum chilliasense is a member of a distinctive clade of southern Ecuadorian and Peruvian species formerly classified in series Piurana and some other series that frequently possess moniliform tubers and shiny coriaceous leaves. On a higher taxonomic level, it is a member of the informally-named Potato Clade, a group of perhaps 200-300 species that also includes the tomato and its wild relatives (Bohs, 2005).


Solanum chilliasense is morphologically similar to S. paucissectum from Peru. Both species possess terminal leaflets considerably larger than the lateral ones. Solanum chilliasense has strongly acuminate leaflets and undulate leaflet margins whereas S. paucissectum has acute leaflets and straight leaflet margins.


Bohs, L. 2005. Major clades in Solanum based on ndhF sequences.
Pp. 27-49 in R. C. Keating, V. C. Hollowell, & T. B. Croat (eds.), A festschrift for William G. D’Arcy: the legacy of a taxonomist. Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden, Vol. 104. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis.

Hijmans, R., T. Gavrilenko, S. Stephenson, J. Bamberg, A. Salas & D.M. Spooner 2007. Geographic and environmental range expansion through polyploidy in wild potatoes (Solanum section Petota).
Global Ecol. Biogeogr. 16: 485-495.

Wed, 2013-11-20 10:58 -- sandy
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith