Solanum pastillum S. Knapp

Solanaceae– Tomato Family

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habit with flower

– 1-4 m treelet, shade tolerant

– paired glabrous leaves

– twigs with fine ridges

– inflorescences arising between nodes

Description. A shrub or treelet mature at 1-4 m; twigs slender with petiole ridges continuing onto twigs forming narrow keels that border the entire internode; petioles to 1 cm, leaves to 7 x 16 cm, mostly paired, glabrous, weakly bullate, elliptic to ovate, apex acuminate, base acute, minor leaf ovate, 15-20% as long as major leaf; inflorescence arising on internode, but closer to upper node, peduncle slender and pendant; flower with corolla pale green, the lobes with canoe-shaped tips, anthers yellow; fruit

Similar species.

Solanum pertenue- leaves mostly solitary, veins pubescent below, pointed calyx lobes, cloud forest understory.

Solanum tuerckheimii- cracked reddish bark and veins not impressed above, grows in drier habitats on the Pacific slope.

Local distribution. Cloud forest on both slopes; less commonly in Pacific slope wet forest, especially along streams.

Habitat. Light gaps and partly shaded forest edges, stream margins, and roadsides.

Species range. Nicaragua to Costa Rica

Abundance. Common

Phenology. FL: may-jun; FR:

Herbivores. Pteronymia simplex (Ithomiinae)

Pollinators. Bees

Seed dispersers. Bats?

Comments. This shade tolerant species is distinctive in its slender zig-zag twigs, slender inflorescences, and knob-like calyx lobes.

Voucher No. Haber 9260

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Images and text copyright © 2001 by William A. Haber,
Created: 13 May 2001. Updated: 4 November 2001.