Physical Description

Diagnostic Description

Formal Description


Perennial herbs, erect initially, later procumbent, slender to robust and viny, to 4 m in long. Stem 6-10 mm in diameter at base, green, variously pubescent, coastal populations more glandular, the pubescence composed of trichomes of several types, simple, uniseriate, patent trichomes ca. 1 mm long from multicellular bases, amongst uniseriate, 1-3-celled slender trichomes 0.2-0.4 mm long from unicellular bases, and shorter glandular, simple, 1-2-cellular trichomes, the glandular heads unicellular or multicellular, the plant with a strong citrus-like scent.

Sympodial Structure

Sympodial units 3-foliate; internodes 1.5-5(-8) cm long.


Leaves interrupted imparipinnate, 3.5-14 cm long, 1.5-8.5 cm wide, lime green to dark green, sparsely pubescent to glabrescent (‘Academy Bay’) adaxially, densely velvety pubescent with uniseriate uni- or multicellular trichomes abaxially; primary leaflets 2-3(-4) pairs, ovate or orbicular, the base asymmetric, rounded to cordate, the margins entire to irregularly lobed; terminal leaflet 1-4 cm long, 1-3 cm long, usually larger than the laterals, about half as long as the leaf rachis, the petiolule 0.1-0.3 cm long; lateral leaflets 0.8-6 cm long, 0.4-2 cm wide, the petiolule 0.2-2 cm long; secondary leaflets if present, mainly on proximal leaflets and basiscopically, 0-5 (-8) per leaf, ca. 0.2-0.2 cm long, sessile; tertiary leaflets absent; interjected leaflets usually present, 4-8 (-14), 0.1-0.2 cm long, 0.1-0.2 cm wide, sessile or with a short petiolule to 0.2 cm long; petiole 0.5-30 (-35) cm long; pseudostipules absent.


Inflorescences to 7.5 cm long, simple or sometimes 2-3-branched, with upto 11 flowers, usually ebracteate but bract and bracteole-like leaflets sometimes present on the axis, peduncle 1-3.3 cm long, pubescent like the stems. Pedicels 0.6-2 cm long, articulated in the distal 1/3, occasionally without an articulation (‘jointless’, see Rick, 1967). Buds 0.7-0.8 cm long, 0.15-0.2 cm wide, narrowly conical, with the corolla more than halfway exserted from the calyx just before anthesis.


Flowers with the calyx tube 0.05-0.1 cm long, the lobes 0.3-0.5 cm long, ca. 0. 1 cm wide, linear, pubescent with long and short simple uniseriate trichomes, the apex acute; corolla 1.8-2.8 cm in diameter, pentagonal, yellow, the tube .2-0.4 cm long, the lobes 0.9-1.4 cm long, 0.25-0.4 cm wide, narrowly deltate, minutely to densely pubescent abaxially with tangled, transparent simple uniseriate trichomes, these more abundant along the margins, mixed with smaller and much sparser uniseriate glandular trichomes with 4-celled heads, the lobes reflexed at anthesis; staminal column 0.4-0.7 cm long, narrowly cone shaped, straight, the filaments 1-2 (-2.5) mm long, the anthers 0.3-0.5 cm long, the sterile apical appendage 0.1-0.3 cm long; ovary conical, minutely glandular villous; style 0.3.6 (-0.8) cm long, < 0.5 mm in diameter, usually included in the staminal column, but exserted to 1(-2) mm in some specimens, usually only just exserted from the staminal column; stigma minutely capitate, green.


Fruits 0.6-1.4 cm in diameter, globose, 2-locular, becoming yellow or orange at maturity, glabrescent; fruiting pedicels 0.9-1.5 cm long, more or less straight, sometimes angled at the articulation; calyx lobes in fruit accrescent, to 0.45-1.3 cm long, 0.5-0.3 cm wide, tightly appressed or spreading.


Seeds 1.5-2.0 mm long, 0.8-1.2 mm wide, 0.4-0.5 mm thick, obovate, pale brown, pubescent with hair-like outgrowths of the lateral testa cell walls, these adpressed and giving a silky appearance to the surface or sometimes shaggy, narrowly winged (ca. 0.2 mm) at the apex and acute at the base, with a pronounced beak.


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Life History and Behavior



Solanum cheesmaniae flowers and fruits throughout the year, but with a flowering peak from April to June.


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