Solanum torvum Sw.

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Solanum torvum

Photo: Bart Wursten
Near Congo River, Yaekela, Tshopo District

Solanum torvum

Photo: Bart Wursten
Near Congo River, Yaekela, Tshopo District

Solanum torvum

Photo: Bart Wursten
Near Congo River, Yaekela, Tshopo District

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Synonyms: Solanum mannii C.H. Wright
Common names:
Status: Native
Spreading or scrambling shrub or even a small tree, mostly up to 3 m high, armed with straight or slightly recurved prickles 3–7 mm long; hairs stellate. Branches whitish to rusty heiry, becoming hairless, with scattered prickles. Leaves somewhat felty, broadly ovate, ovate-rhombic or more or less elliptic, 4.5–15 cm long, usually sinuate to lobed, the lobes up to 7, broadly angular or somewhat triangular to rounded, acute to rounded, pubescent to scabrous above, lower surface paler and, densely greyish-white or rusty-yellow hairy beneath, unarmed or with a few straight prickles on the nerves beneath; petiole 0.8–3.8 cm long. Inflorescences lateral, leaf-remote, axillary or extra-axillary, but more or less erect and generally borne above the leaf canopy, 1.5–3 cm across, few to many-flowered, generally maturing numerous fruits. Flowers 5-merous; pedicels 5–10 mm long, slender, glandular-pubescent or hispid-viscid, in fruit elongated to 20 mm, becoming stout and somewhat thickened distally. Calyx green or purplish, 3–4 mm long, 5–6 mm across, cup-shaped, often deeply lobed, glandular-pubescent; lobes unequal, ovate or triangular to lanceolate, 1.5–2.5 mm long, larger in fruit. Corolla white or occasionally pale lilac, mostly c. 2 cm across; lobes ovate-lanceolate or lanceolate, 4–6 mm long and wide, undulate at the margins, hairy outside on the median region, more or less hairy inside. Fruits globose, 8–15 mm in diameter, greenish, turning yellowish, drab yellow or dirty-brown when ripe.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: At forest edges
Altitude range: 800 - 1100 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Native to the Antilles but now an almost pantropical weed.
Malawi distribution: S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Friday 12 October 2018

Gonçalves, A.E. (2005). Solanaceae Flora Zambesiaca 8(4) Pages 116 - 117.

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 178.

Other sources of information about Solanum torvum:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Solanum torvum

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Solanum torvum
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Solanum torvum
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Solanum torvum
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Solanum torvum
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Solanum torvum
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Solanum torvum
JSTOR Plant Science: Solanum torvum
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Solanum torvum
Plants of the World Online: Solanum torvum
Tropicos: Solanum torvum
Wikipedia: Solanum torvum

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Solanum torvum., retrieved 22 April 2024

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