Solanaceae Source

A global taxonomic resource for the nightshade family

Solanum longiconicum

Citation author: 
Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 10: 534. 1912.
Costa Rica. Cartago: “Defrichements du Roble, massif de l’Irazú,” 2000 m, 10 Jul 1891, A. Tonduz 4235 (lectotype, designated by Spooner et al. 2001, pg 735: K! [photos: G!, Z!]; isolectotypes: BR, CR!, G[3]! [photo: K!], US-1324498!, Z! [Correll neg. 892: B!, F!, GH!, K!, LL!, NY!, UC!, US!, WAG!]).
Last edited by: 
Sandra Knapp (August 2014)
Written by: 
David M. Spooner
Herbaceous tuber-bearing perennials 0.2-2 m tall. Stems 2-13 mm in diameter at base of plant.
Sympodial structure: 
Sympodial units typically 3-6-foliate.
Pseudostipules to 2-10 mm long, lunate. Leaves odd-pinnate, 9-33 cm long, 5-20 cm wide, glabrous or with only scattered 2-3-celled short hairs adaxially and abaxially; petioles 1-5 cm long; lateral leaflet pairs (2-) 3-5 (-6), subequal or the size of the lateral leaflets diminishing gradually towards the base of the leaf; most distal lateral leaflets 3.6-9 cm long, 1.2-3.3 cm wide, narrowly ovate to elliptical, apex acuminate, base oblique, rounded to cuneate, sessile or with petiolules up to 10 mm long; terminal leaflet 4.5-10.0 cm long, 1.2-2.5 cm wide, ovate to elliptical, apex acute to acuminate, base attenuate; interjected commonly 0 to rarely 6.
Inflorescence a dichasially branched, ebracteate, monochasial or dichasial cyme, 2-3 forked, generally in the distal half of the plant, with 8-16 flowers, all flowers perfect, peduncle 3.8-11 cm long; pedicels 15-30 mm long, articulate between the proximal ¼ and the distal ¼.
Flowers with the calyx 4-10 mm long, lobes acute to short-attenuate, acumens 1-4 mm long. Corollas 2-3 cm in diameter, rotate, acumens 0-2 mm, edges of corolla flat, not folded dorsally, blue to purple adaxially and abaxially. Anthers 4-5.5 mm long, connate, yellow, apically poricidally dehiscent and often maturing to a short introrse apical slit, filaments 1-4 mm long. Ovary with style 5-8 mm long, exceeding stamens by 2-3 mm, straight, with stigma globose.
Fruits 1.1-3.9 cm long, conical, obtuse to acute at tip, medium green to deep green throughout.
Seeds from living specimens green-white throughout, ovoid, ca. 2 mm long, with a thick covering of “hair-like” lateral walls of the testal cells that make the seeds mucilaginous when wet. Removal of these hair-like lateral walls by enzyme digestion reveals a honeycomb pattern at their base.
Chromosome number: 

2n = ploidy missing =48 voucher missing = (Spooner & Hijmans 2001)


Central Costa Rica to western Panama, (1050-) 1400-3300 m; in wet habitats, in organic soils, in full sun or partial shade, in openings of cloud forests, often among oaks or pines, marshy grasslands, including disturbed habitats such as landslides, streamsides, road cuts, moist garbage heaps, recently plowed soil in forest clearings, recently burned forests, roadside ditches, forest edges, or on rotting tree stumps. When growing in primary forests, it occurs near sunny openings such as paths or streams or tree falls.

Flowering and fruiting throughout the year.

Solanum longiconicum belongs to the potato clade of Solanum (Bohs, 2005). Spooner and Sytsma (1992) placed S. longiconicum on the most terminal clade of section Petota based on chloroplast DNA restriction site data. Spooner et al. (2004) erected the Conicibaccata group to contain S. agrimonifolium, S. longiconicum, S. oxycarpum, and S. woodsonii. All four of these species form a “polyploid ser. Conicibaccata clade” distinguished from the diploid species of the series by chloroplast DNA and morphological data (Castillo and Spooner 1997). These four species are morphologically distinguished (sometimes with difficulty) as a group by conical fruits, leaves with a somewhat parallel-sided morphology (mentioned in the descriptions as lateral leaflet pairs subequal or diminishing gradually towards the base) and narrowly ovate to elliptical leaflets (Spooner et al. 2001). The species evaluated in North and Central America are all 4x(2EBN) (S. longiconicum is not yet evaluated for EBN, and S. woodsonii is not yet evaluated for ploidy and EBN). Some related species traditionally placed in ser. Conicibaccata in South America (see Fajardo & Spooner 2011) are also 4x(2EBN), and others are 2x(2EBN) and 6x(4EBN). All species in North and Central America, like related species in South America, generally grow in moist organic soils in upland rain forests.


Solanum longiconicum, like all four species in the Conicibaccata group that occur in Mexico and Central America, is distinguished by conical fruits, leaves with a somewhat parallel-sided morphology, and narrowly ovate to elliptical leaflets. It is distinguished from the other members of the group by its shiny, glabrous to subglabrous leaves, and seeds with a purple spot, caused by the purple embryo showing through the greenish seed coat.


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.

Castillo-T., R. 1995. Phylogenetic relationships of wild potatoes, Solanum series Conicibaccata (sect. Petota). Ph.D. Thesis, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Castillo-T., R., & D.M. Spooner 1997. Phylogenetic relationships of wild potatoes, Solanum series Conicibaccata (sect. Petota). Syst. Bot. 22: 45-83.

Fajardo, D. & D.M. Spooner. 2011. Phylogenetic relationships of Solanum series Conicibaccata and related species in Solanum section Petota inferred from five conserved ortholog sequences. Syst. Bot. 36:163-170.

Spooner, D.M. & K.J. Sytsma 1992. Reexamination of series relationships of Mexican and Central American wild potatoes (Solanum sect. Petota): evidence from chloroplast DNA restriction site variation. Syst. Bot. 17:432-448.

Spooner, D.M., R.G. van den Berg, A. Rivera-Peña, P. Velguth, A. del Rio, & A. Salas 2001. Taxonomy of Mexican and Central American members of Solanum series Conicibaccata (sect. Petota). Syst. Bot. 26: 743-756.

Spooner, D.M. & R.J. Hijmans 2001. Potato systematics and germplasm collecting, 1989-2000. Amer. J. Potato Res. 78:237-268; 395.

Spooner, D.M., R.G. van den Berg, A. Rodríguez, J. Bamberg, R.J. Hijmans, & S.I. Lara-Cabrera 2004. Wild potatoes (Solanum section Petota; Solanaceae) of North and Central America. Syst. Bot. Monog. 68: 1-209 + 9 plates.


Chloroplast DNA restriction site data available in: Spooner and Sytsma (1992), Castillo (1995) and Fajardo & Spooner (2011).

Wed, 2013-11-20 11:00 -- 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