Kurtziana 28: 137. 2000.
Last edited by:
Sandra Knapp (May 2014)
Shrub to small tree, 4–14 m tall. Stems densely pubescent with persistent short-stalked porrect –stellate to somewhat peltate trichomes 0.2–0.3 mm in diameter, the rays 10–12, fused for less than half their length, the midpoint sometimes a short stub to 0.5 mm long; new growth densely pubescent with porrect-stellate trichomes like those of the stems, these drying pale golden-brown. Bark of older stems reddish gold from the persistent trichomes.
Sympodial units plurifoliate, the branching dichasial.
Leaves simple, 6–19 cm long, 2–10 cm wide, elliptic or narrowly elliptic, membranous or chartaceous, discolorous (“silvery beneath" fide Bohs 3361), the upper surfaces moderately and evenly pubescent with sessile and short-stalked porrect-stellate trichomes with up to 15 rays, the rays fused only in their lower part near the midpoint, the midpoint to 0.2 mm long, the lamina visible, the lower surfaces densely pubescent with short-stalked porrect-stellate trichomes to 0.4 mm in diameter with up to 16 rays, the rays fused only in the center, the midpoint to 0.05 mm long, the lamina not visible; primary veins 12–15 pairs, not markedly impressed above, densely covered by pubescence beneath; base acute to somewhat attenuate onto the petiole; margins entire, plane; apex acute to acuminate; petioles 1–3(–4) cm long, densely pubescent with porrect-stellate to peltate trichomes like those of the stems.
Inflorescences terminal, 7–10 cm long, many times branched, with 100+ flowers, densely pubescent with porrect-stellate to peltate trichomes like those of the stems; peduncle 2–5 cm long; pedicels 5–6 mm long, 1–1.5 mm in diameter at the base, ca.1.5 mm in diameter at the apex, stout, nodding at anthesis, densely pubescent like the inflorescence axes, articulated at the base; pedicel scars closely and more or less regularly spaced ca. 1 mm apart. Buds globose, the corolla strongly exserted from the calyx tube just before anthesis.
Flowers all perfect, 5-merous. Calyx tube 1–1.5 mm long, cup-shaped, narrowing gradually to the pedicel, the lobes 1–1.5 mm long, deltate, abaxially densely pubescent with porrect-stellate to slightly peltate trichomes like those of the inflorescence, the adaxial surface sparsely pubescent with sessile porrect-stellate trichomes. Corolla 1–1.2 cm in diameter, white, stellate, lobed ca. ¾ of the way to the base, the lobes 4–5 mm long, 2–2.5 mm wide, reflexed at anthesis, the tips and margins densely pubescent on the abaxial surface with porrect-stellate trichomes with ca. 10 rays like those of the inflorescence, the adaxial surface glabrous, the tips and margins with a few sessile porrect-stellate trichomes. Filament tube minute, the free portion of the filaments ca. 1 mm long, glabrous; anthers 2.5–3 mm long, ca. 1 mm wide, ellipsoidal, loosely connivent, yellow, poricidal at the tips, the pores lengthening to slits with age. Ovary densely pubescent with multangulate to porrect-stellate trichomes; style 6–6.5 mm long, densely pubescent along its entire length with porrect-stellate 4–6-rayed trichomes ca. 0.2 mm long, the midpoints elongate and equal to the rays; stigma capitate, the surface minutely papillose.
Fruit a globose berry, 0.5–1 cm in diameter, bright orange when ripe, the pericarp thin, not shiny, unevenly pubescent with multangulate trichomes with rays of many varying lengths, appearing scurfy; fruiting pedicels 0.9–1 cm long, 1.5–2 mm in diameter at the base, woody, erect.
Seeds >100 per berry, 1–1.5 mm long, 1–1.5 mm wide, flattened-reniform, pale golden-yellow, the surfaces minutely pitted, the testal cells square.
Along the eastern slopes of the Andes from northern Ecuador to southern Peru (to the Department of Cuzco; see Nee, 2000 for a distribution map). Solanum verecundum occurs in premontane and montane forests, primarily in secondary growth (“purma") and along roads, from 1200–2000 m.
Solanum verecundum is probably closely related to S. oxapampense of the Brevantherum clade (sensu Bohs 2005; section Brevantherum sensu stricto).
Fore references cited here please see Knapp, S. 2010. New species of Solanum (Solanaceae) from Peru and Ecuador. PhytoKeys 1: 33-52.
Solanum verecundum is a relatively common species with a broad distribution along the eastern slopes of the Andes and can be considered of Least Concern (IUCN 2001).
The original description of Solanum verecundum (Nee 2000) included one specimen segregated by KNapp (2010) as Solanum oxapampense. The taxa differ in a suite of characters, detailed in the discussion of Solanum oxapampense, but are easy to distinguish by leaf morphology; the leaves of Solanum oxapampense are coriaceous and shiny above while those of Solanum verecundum are membranous or chartaceous and pubescent above. These stellate trichomes cause the leaves to be asperous to the touch on dry specimens. The stellate trichomes of Solanum verecundum, while somewhat peltate like those of Solanum oxapampense, never have the rays fused for more than half their length, and always bear midpoints, even if these are quite tiny. Nee (2000) pointed out the morphological similarity between Solanum verecundum and the similarly widespread Solanum lepidotum Dunal and Solanum schlechtendalianum Walp. The latter two taxa have more lateral inflorescences that are not borne on erect peduncles. Solanum lepidotum and Solanum schlechtendalianum show a similar pattern of hair diversity to Solanum verecundum and Solanum oxapampense; each species pair has one member with porrect-stellate trichomes with the rays not fused (Solanum schlechtendalianum and Solanum verecundum) and one with peltate trichomes (Solanum lepidotum and Solanum oxapampense). Taxonomists working with primarily morphological data have traditionally recognised different sub-groupings for taxa with stellate and peltate trichomes (Seithe 1962, Carvalho 1996, Nee 1999), but molecular data (Bohs 2005, Weese and Bohs 2007) suggest a more complex situation.