Solanum arboreum Dunal

Solanaceae– Tomato Family


- small shrubs, crowded leaves with short petioles, swollen nodes

- small white flowers on very short inflorescences

- round yellow-green fruit

habit with flowers


Description. A shrub mature at 0.5 m, rarely more than 1 m tall, little branched, nodes swollen; leaves distichous, paired, to 10 x 20 cm long, obovate, acute, the minor leaves much smaller than the majors, petioles and internodes short so that leaves are crowded and cover the stem, glabrous except for erect small hairs on the veins below; flowers with white corolla 6-9 mm across, yellow anthers on short, few-flowered inflorescence opposite the leaves; fruit to 12 mm, globose, yellow-green at maturity.

Similar species.

Solanum ramonense- another small shrub with swollen nodes and small white flowers, but veins glabrous and leaves not crowded.

Solanum rovirosanum- with similar leaf comformation, is a much larger plant. The name S. arboreum was incorrectly applied to this species in the Flora of Panama.

Local distribution. Pacific slope cloud forest and Atlantic slope to the lowlands.

Habitat. Forest understory, especially in sheltered wet places.

Species range. Nicaragua to northern South America.

Abundance. Uncommon

Phenology. Flower: ; Fruit: .

Herbivores. Pteronymia parva

Pollinators. Small bees

Seed dispersers. Bats and arboreal mammals?


Voucher No. Haber 3928

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Images and text copyright © 2001 by William A. Haber,
Created: 13 November 2001.