Solanum siparunoides Ewan

Solanaceae– Jalapeño Family


– high-climbing liana or sprawling shrub in pastures
– dense stellate hairs and recurved spines

– paired leaves with small marginal points

– 3 cm flowers, white flushed with lavender

habit with flower


Description. Sprawling shrub or liana to 15 m; dense stalked stellate hairs and curved spines on stems and leaves; leaves paired, medium sized with a few poorly defined marginal points; flowers 3--4 cm across, corolla white flushed with lavender or purple, lobes narrow and free almost to base; fruit 2 cm, globose, orange.

Similar species:

Solanum lanceifolium occurs at lower elevations on both slopes; much less hairy and the hairs are short-stalked; leaves smaller; flowers smaller and all white.

Solanum chrysotrichum has larger lobed leaves, erect stem, and broad corolla lobes fuzed in the basal half.

Local distribution. Wet forest on Pacific slope from 1300 m to high cloud forest; down to lowlands on Atlantic slope.

Habitat. Light gaps in forest, forest edge, overgrown pastures.

Species range. Mexico to South America (Venezuela, Peru).

Abundance. Common

Phenology. FL: most of the year (dec-may; FR: most of year (jun).

Herbivores. Hyalyris excelsa, Mechanitis lysimnia, M. menapis, M. polymnia, Scada zibia

Pollinators. Bees

Seed dispersers. Birds (and possibly bats and arboreal mammals)

Comments. This heavily spined climber is common on forest edges, in open pastures, and on roadsides, but occasionally also grows as a high-climbing liana in the forest, usually in old tree fall gaps. This wide-ranging plant is eaten by more ithomiine species than just about any other member of the Solanaceae in Costa Rica. It becomes increasingly scarce down the dry Pacific slope below Monteverde.

Voucher. Haber 1760

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Images and text copyright © 2001 by William A. Haber,
Created: 25 January 2001. Updated: 24 July 2001.