Western slopes of the Andes from Central Ecuador to Central Peru, occasionally occurring in lomas formations in northern Peru; in a variety of forest types, from premontane forests to dry forests, 400-3600 m elevation.


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Physical Description

Diagnostic Description

Formal Description


Large sprawling shrubs or vines, to 6 m long. Stems 0.2-0.5(-1) cm in diameter, sparsely to densely pubescent, the less pubescent forms generally with sparser covering of the largest trichomes, the trichomes of three types, the largest 2-4 mm long, 2-4-celled, uniseriate trichomes from a unicellular base, eglandular or with a minute glandular tip, the others smaller, 0.2-0.5 mm long, thin and weak-walled, with either a multi-celled glandular tip or a minute glandular tip or eglandular, all trichomes with smooth, transparent cell walls.

Sympodial Structure

Sympodial units 3-foliate; internodes 2-13 (+) cm long.


Leaves interrupted imparipinnate, 7-30 (-36) cm long, 3-16 (-20) cm wide, sparsely to densely pubescent with a mixture of uniseriate trichomes, the longest 1-3 mm long, patent, 5-8-celled, arising from a stiff, multi-cellular base or from a unicellular base (primarily in the less pubescent forms), eglandular or with a minute glandular tip, the rest 0.05-0.4 mm long, weak-walled and fragile, the tips either composed of a multicellular gland or a minute unicellular gland, or the trichomes eglandular, adaxial surface dark green, the long trichomes arising from the blade and the veins, abaxial surface paler, the long trichomes primarily from the veins, the veins dark abaxially in dry material; primary leaflets 3-5 pairs, decreasing in size towards the leaf base, narrowly elliptic to elliptic to sometimes ovate, the base acute, oblique and extended basiscopically, the margins regularly serrate to doubly serrate to occasionally almost entire, the apex acute to acuminate; terminal leaflet 3-8.5 cm long, 1-5 cm wide, the petiolule 0.3-1 cm long; lateral leaflet 2-6.5 (-10) cm long, 0.7-2.5 (-7) cm wide, the petiolule 0.2-0.7 (-0.9) cm long, usually decurrent on the rachis basiscopically; secondary leaflets absent; tertiary leaflets absent; interjected leaflets 10-18, 0.5-1.2 cm long, 0.5-1.1 cm wide, sessile, petiole (1-) 1.5-6 (-8) cm long, opposite, subopposite to alternate, in sets of 2-4 between the primary leaflets; pseudostipules present and well developed at all nodes, 1-3 cm long, 1.4-4 cm wide, orbicular, the margins serrate.


Inflorescences 10-30 (-45) cm long, once-branched, with 20-30 flowers, bracteate, the bracts ca. 1 cm long, 1 cm wide, decreasing in size towards the apex, the largest bract at the branching point, peduncle (2.5-) 6-15 cm long, pubescent like the stems, but with more glandular trichomes with multi-cellular heads. Pedicels (1-) 1.5-2 (-3) cm long, the articulation in the distal half. Buds 1.2-1.6 cm long, 0.5-0.6 cm wide, elongate conical, with the corolla more than halfway exerted from the calyx just before anthesis.


Flowers with the calyx tube 0.1-0.15 cm long, the lobes 0.7-1.2 cm long, 0.15-0.2 cm wide, narrowly elongate-triangular, densely pubescent with uniseriate trichomes like those of the inflorescence; corolla 2-4 (-5) cm in diameter, broadly rotate, deep golden yellow, each lobe with a medial darker stripe, the tube (0.7-) 1-1.5 cm long, the free portion of the lobes 0.8-1 cm long, (0.5-) 1.2-1.5 cm wide at the base, the tips and midveins of the lobes densely pubescent with eglandular and glandular trichomes abaxially; staminal column 1-1.5 cm long, straight, the filaments 0.5-1 mm long, the anthers 0.75-1 cm long, the sterile apical appendage 0.3-0.5 cm long; ovary conical, densely to sparsely pubescent with uniseriate, patent trichomes 0.5-1 mm long; style 1.1-1.4 cm long, ca. 0.5 mm in diameter, glabrous in distal half, densely pubescent with trichomes like those of the ovary in the proximal half, usually exserted 1-5 mm, but sometimes included in what are probably autogamous populations; stigma small capitate, green.


Fruit 1-1.5 cm in diameter, globose, 2-locular, pale green with a dark green stripe from the apex to the base, densely to sparsely pubescent with uniseriate, usually eglandular trichomes 1-3 mm long and shorter weak uniseriate trichomes ca. 0.4 mm long with a multi-cellular glandular tip; fruiting pedicels 1.1-2.4 cm long, strongly bent in towards the inflorescence axis at the pedicel articulation point; calyx lobes in fruit 1.7-2.5 cm long, 0.2-0.3 cm wide, enclosing the berry.


Seeds 2.1-3.0 mm long, 1.0-1.6 mm wide, 0.5-0.7 mm thick, obovate, dark brown, pubescent with hair-like outgrowths of the lateral testa cell walls, these appressed and giving a silky appearance to the surface, narrowly winged (ca. 0.2 mm wide) at the apex and acute at the base.


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Life History and Behavior



Solanum habrochaites flowers and fruits throughout the year, most flowering collections are from March, but this is almost certainly a collecting artifact.


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Evolution and Systematics

Systematics or Phylogenetics


Solanum habrochaites is a member of the Potato clade (sensu Weese & Bohs, 2007); within the tomatoes and wild relatives it is a member of the “Eriopersicon group” and is a member of section Lycopersicon.


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References and More Information


Solanum habrochaites is part of a basal polytomy in the tomatoes, or in some analyses done with DNA sequence data is a member of a clade containing S. chilense, S. peruvianum, S. huaylasense and S. corneliomulleri. It is morphologically very easy to distinguish from all other wild tomato. The sterile apical appendage of the anthers is extremely long and thin, and the broadly rotate, shallowly lobed golden yellow corollas are distinctive. Pubescence in S. habrochaites is quite variable and Müller’s (1940a) forma glabratum consists of plants that are not strictly glabrous, but only have a less dense covering of the longest trichomes on all parts. The characteristic strong aroma of S. habrochaites is caused by secretions from glandular trichoem with a 4-celled head.

Solanum habrochaites grows in high elevations in the northern range of sect. Lycopersicon; only S. pimpinellifolium is found as far north; S. habrochaites also can be found in coastal lomas habitats in northern Peru. Some plants (e.g. Rubio et al. 1768 from southern coastal Ecuador) that are smaller than more typical specimens of S. habrochaites can be confused with S. corneliomulleri, but the straight anther tube with a long, narrow “beak” and largely non-glandular pubescence aid identification. These smaller flowered plants are likely to be self-compatible, as small-flowers are correlated with self-compatibility in other species (Georgiady & Lord 2002). The breeding system of S. habrochaites is self-incompatible allogamous, with some self-compatible populations (probably those with smaller flowers) at the margin of the distribution (Rick et al. 1979).

One TGRC accession of S. habrochaites (LA1777) have been used by Steve Tanksley's group (Cornell University) to produce backcross recombinant inbred lines with the S. lycopersicum cultivar E-6203 (LA4024). The 99 IL lines contains introgressed segment of S. habrochaites that covers giving coverage of approximately 85% of the genome. These lines have been important to produce genetic maps, and to explore resistance to insects, and yield and quality.


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