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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.


Annual to shrub, vine or not, prickly or not, often glandular. Leaf: alternate to ± opposite, often unequal, entire to deeply pinnately lobed. Inflorescence: panicle or umbel-like, often 1-sided. Flower: calyx ± bell-shaped; corolla ± rotate, white to purple (yellow), lobes generally of different color toward base of midrib, generally without spots at base; anthers free, > filaments, oblong or tapered, opening by 2 pores or short slits near tip, in age often splitting to base; ovary 2-chambered, style 1, generally ± straight, stigma head-like. Fruit: berry, generally spheric, fleshy (or dry, capsule-like). Seed: many, compressed, generally reniform.
± 1500 species: worldwide, especially tropical America. (Latin: quieting, from narcotic properties) many TOXIC. Many cultivated for food (including potato, Solanum tuberosum), ornamental; Solanum dimidiatum <WEEDINESS: SYMBOL 1> in California an urban weed. See Lycopersicon for other taxa recently included here.
Unabridged references: [Nee, M. 1999. Synopsis of Solanum in the New World, pp. 285–333 in M. Nee, D.E. Symon, R.N. Lester & J.P. Jessop (eds.), Solanaceae IV, Advances in Biology and Utilization, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; Symon 1981 J Adelaide Bot Gard 4:1–367]

Key to Solanum

1. Hairs (some or all) stellate; anthers tapered, opening by terminal pores; plant often prickly

2. Stellate hairs scale-like, rays fused at base ..... S. elaeagnifolium

2' Stellate hairs not scale-like, rays free

3. Anthers unequal; calyx tightly enclosing fruit ..... S. rostratum

3' Anthers generally ± equal; calyx not tightly enclosing fruit

4. Leaf abaxially densely white-tomentose or velvety

5. Calyx not prickly; inflorescence branches 2–4; fruits several to many per inflorescence, 7–15 mm diam ..... S. lanceolatum

5' Calyx prickly; inflorescence branches 0; fruits 1 per inflorescence, 35–50 mm diam ..... S. marginatum

4' Leaf abaxially sparsely tomentose, neither clearly white nor velvety

6. Leaf deeply pinnately lobed, lobes entire to lobed ± to midrib; annual; fruit red ..... S. sisymbriifolium

6' Leaf ± entire to wavy-lobed, teeth or lobes ± entire; perennial herb from rhizome; fruit yellow ..... S. carolinense

6a. Corolla generally pale violet (white); stellate hairs fine, generally sessile; inflorescence generally raceme-like; fruit 8–20 mm ..... S. carolinense

6a' Corolla generally purple (white); stellate hairs coarse, some stalked; inflorescence generally branched; fruit > 20 mm ..... [S. dimidiatum]

1' Hairs branched or not but not stellate; anthers oblong, opening by terminal pores that become short slits; plant not prickly

7. Leaf deeply lobed; annual ..... S. triflorum

7' Leaf entire to shallowly lobed, if deeply 1–2-lobed below middle, shrub

8. Corolla lobes < tube + throat, generally spreading

9. Shrub 2–4 m; leaf ± entire to deeply 1–2-lobed below middle; fruit orange-red ..... S. aviculare

9' Perennial herb to subshrub generally < 1 m; leaf entire to 1–2-lobed at base; fruit green to ± purple

10. Upper stem hairs branched ..... S. umbelliferum

10' Upper stem hairs 0 or generally simple

11. Stem ± glabrous, ridged; leaf sessile or gradually tapered to acute base ..... S. parishii

11' Stem generally soft- or glandular-hairy, not or weak-ridged; leaf petioled, blade base rounded or obtuse to ± cordate

12. Leaf generally 6–10 cm, oblong to ovate; fruit generally 15–25 mm; Channel Islands ..... S. wallacei

12' Leaf 2–7 cm, lanceolate to ovate; fruit 10–15 mm; mainland ..... S. xanti

8' Corolla lobes >= tube + throat, often reflexed

13. Inflorescence of generally 2 umbel-like clusters, axis generally forked

14. Corolla purple to violet, lobes each with 2 green spots at base; plant ± woody, ± climbing ..... S. dulcamara

14' Corolla white to pale violet, lobes not spotted; plant not woody, generally ± reclining ..... S. furcatum

13' Inflorescence umbel- or raceme-like, axis not forked

15. Calyx enlarged, enclosing fruit base; fruit ± yellow or green ..... S. physalifolium var. nitidibaccatum

15' Calyx not enlarged, not enclosing fruit base; fruit black or ± green

16. Anthers generally 2.5–4 mm ..... S. douglasii

16' Anthers 1.4–2.2 mm

17. Seeds 1–1.5 mm; hairs ± appressed or curved, nonglandular ..... S. americanum

17' Seeds 1.5–2.5 mm; hairs ± spreading or curved, glandular and not ..... S. nigrum


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
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