Solanum ramonense C. V. Morton & Standl.

Solanaceae– Eggplant Family

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habit with flower


– 0.5-1.5 m shrub

– twig nodes swollen

– leaves paired, glabrous

– inflorescence opposite leaves

– small white flowers, 8-9 mm across

Description. Shrubs mature at 0.5-1.5 m; twigs conspicuously swollen, without ridges; leaves paired, glabrous, minor leaves very small and nearly round; inflorescence arising opposite leaves, 2--5 mm long, stiff; flowers with pedicel 5-7 mm, corolla white, 8-9 mm across, lobes 3.5-4 mm long, anthers yellow, blunt, 1.5 mm; fruit a globose, yellow green berry to 15 mm.

Similar species:

Solanum arboreum- a shrub usually less than 1 m tall with paired leaves and swollen nodes, the veins pubescent below, the minor leaves very small, the short internodes and petioles resulting in densely crowded leaves.

Solanum rovirosanum- a larger treelet from the same habitat with larger flowers and similar fruit.

Solanum pastillum is a sympatric shrub with ridged twigs, a more bullate leaf, and more elongate inflorescences; the nodes are not swollen.

Solanum tuerckheimii- a similar an understory shrub, but with cracked reddish bark and nodes not swollen.

Local distribution. Pacific slope at 1400-1600 m (leeward cloud forest).

Habitat. Forest understory, especially where there is extra light.

Species range. Costa and Panama.

Abundance. Uncommon

Phenology. FL: jan; FR: may-jul.

Herbivores. Pteronymia simplex

Pollinators. Small bees

Seed dispersers. Bats?

Comments. One of the most shade-tolerant Solanum species, yet reproductive individuals are usually associated with forest gaps or edges. Most common around the information center at the MV Cloud Forest Preserve and the Triangle area.

Voucher No. Haber 11884

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