Lycianthes amatitlanensis (J. M. Coult. & Donn. Sm.) Bitter

Solanaceae– Tomato Family


–0.5-1 m shrub in shade

– paired hairy leaves in a plane

– 10 thread-like calyx lobes

– round, red berries

habit with fruit


Description. Shrub, mature at 0.5-1.5 m; twigs somewhat zig-zag, with dense long simple hairs, nodes swollen; leaves distichous, paired, with sparse, appressed, long white hairs above and below, petiole 5-8 mm, blade to 4 x 11 cm, minor leaf to 2 x 4 cm, narrowly elliptic, very asymmetric, apex accuminate, base acute and unequal, bullate, midvein and lateral veins expressed above, lateral veins 9-12, loop-connected; inflorescence less than 1 mm, flowers almost sessile, arising between leaf pairs; flowers with pedicel to 30 mm, calyx with long simple hairs, 10 linear appendages, corolla white; fruit a dark red berry to 9 mm wide x 7 mm long; seeds dark orange-brown, 1 x 1.3 mm, subtriangular and irregularly compressed, surface minutely textured.

Similar species.

Solanum arboreum- a small, shade tolerant shrub of the same general habitat with a similar leaf conformation, but the leaves are glabrous, the flowers and fruits have much shorter pedicels with only 5 calyx lobes, and the fruits are yellow-green when mature.

Local distribution. Pacific slope at 1300-1600 m (premontane wet forest to leeward cloud forest).

Habitat. Shaded trails and stream margins in primary and secondary forest. More shade tolerant than most species of the family.

Species range. Mexico to Peru.

Abundance. Uncommon

Phenology. Flower: mar-may; Fruit: may-jun.

Herbivores. Ithomia heraldica?

Pollinators. Bees

Seed dispersers. Birds


Voucher No. Haber 1068

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Images and text copyright © 2001 by William A. Haber,
Created: 19 May 2001. Updated: 2 November 2001.