Solanaceae Source

A global taxonomic resource for the nightshade family

Solanum gandarillasii

Citation author: 
Bol. Soc. Peruana Bot. 5: 16. 1956.
Bolivia. Santa Cruz: Prov. Valle Grande, Mataral, 2000 m, Mar 1955, M. Cárdenas 5068 (holotype, BOLV; isotypes, K000005820, LL00000678 [Correll neg. 844, NY, LL, UC1152282]).
Last edited by: 
Spooner, D.M.
Written by: 
Spooner, D.M.
Herbs 10-35 cm tall, erect. Stems 2-6 mm in diameter at base of plant, pale green, with narrow wings, glabrous to glabrescent; tubers typically borne singly at the end of each stolon.
Sympodial structure: 
Sympodial units tri- to plurifoliate, not geminate.
Leaves odd-pinnate, the blades 7-30 x 3-23.5 cm, light green, sometimes with purple along the midribs, membranous to chartaceous, glabrous to glabrescent adaxially and abaxially, the margin ciliate; lateral leaflet pairs 1-3, decreasing in size toward the leaf base, with the terminal leaflet much larger than the laterals; most distal lateral leaflets 3-11 x 1.5-7 cm, broadly elliptic-lanceolate or ovate to ovate-elliptic, the apex obtuse to acute to acuminate, the base rounded to subcordate to oblique, petiolules 4-12 mm long; terminal leaflet 5-14 x 2.5-10 cm, elliptic-lanceolate or ovate to ovate-elliptic, the apex obtuse to acute to acuminate, the base rounded to slightly cuneate, petiolules 1-2.7 cm; interjected leaflets typically absent, petioles 2-4.5 cm, glabrous to glabrescent. Pseudostipules 7-13 mm long, glabrous to glabrescent.
Inflorescences 5-17 cm, terminal with a subtending axillary bud, generally in the distal half of the plant, usually forked, with 5-12 flowers, with all flowers apparently perfect, the axes glabrous to glabrescent; peduncle 5-9 cm long, glabrous; pedicels 7-30 mm long in flower and fruit, spaced 1-10 mm apart, articulated at or slightly above the middle.
Flowers homostylous, 5-merous. Calyx 5-8 mm long, the tube 1-2 mm, the lobes 4-7 mm, rounded to obtuse, distinctively broadly ligulate and reflexed, not differentiated into an acumen distally, glabrous to glabrescent. Corolla 1.5-2.5 cm in diameter, pentagonal to rotate, white adaxially and abaxially, sometimes with a pale green star, the tube 1-2 mm long, the acumens 2-3 mm long, the corolla edges flat, not folded dorsally, glabrous adaxially, minutely puberulent abaxially, especially along the midribs, ciliate at the margins, especially at the tips of the corollas. Stamens with the filaments ca. 1 mm long; anthers 5-7 mm long, lanceolate, connivent, yellow, poricidal at the tips, the pores lengthening to slits with age. Ovary glabrous; style 8-12 mm x ca. 1 mm, exceeding stamens by ca. 2.5 mm, straight, glabrous; stigma ovoid to capitate.
Fruit a globose to ovoid berry, 1.6-2.7 cm long by 1.5-2.5 cm wide, light to dark green, often scattered with white dots.
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. 6656 (BOLV, PTIS) (Hijmans, et al. 2007)


Solanum gandarillasii is known from south-central Bolivia (Depts. Cochabamba, Chuquisaca, Santa Cruz), among shrubs, spiny scrub and cacti, in forests, typically in dry environments, in humus, clay or rocky soil; 1450-3000 m in elevation.

Flowering and fruiting collections made in February and March.

Solanum gandarillasii is a member of Solanum sect. Petota Dumort., the tuber-bearing cultivated and wild potatoes. Within sect. Petota, S. gandarillasii is a member of a very diverse clade related to the cultivated potato. 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 gandarillasii is distinguished by its relatively short stature, broad leaflets, especially the terminal leaflet, and by its distinctive calyces that are broadly ligulate and reflexed, with the apex not differentiated into an acumen distally.


Hawkes, J.G. & J.P. Hjerting 1989. The potatoes of Bolivia: their breeding value and evolutionary relationships.
Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Ochoa, C.M. 1990. The potatoes of South America: Bolivia.
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

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.

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