Solanum trizygum Bitter

Solanaceae– Tomato family


leaves

Identification:

– herb to 1.5 m, forest gaps and edge

– small white flowers with yellow anthers

– erect spindle-shaped fruit

Description. Herb, 0.5-1.5 m; usually with a single stem branching well above base; leaves pinnate, glabrous, 3-9 lanceolate leaflets to 12 cm long, often dark velvety green above with purple underside; inflorescneces axillary, 1-2 cm; flowers with pedicels 4-8 mm, calyx 1-2 mm, corolla 4-8 mm, pale green to green-white or yellow-green, anthers yellow-green; fruit about 2 x 3 cm tall, teardrop-shaped, green to green-white.

Similar species. Solanum oxycarpum (a semi-prostrate herb of high peaks with pinnate leaves with small interstial leaflets among the large ones and blue flowers, 3 cm across). Solanum caripense (a scandent, vine-like herb-shrub, pinnate pubescent leaves, white flowers, 2 cm across).

Local distribution. Extending from the Atlantic lowlands up to 1700 m and down to 900 m on the Pacific slope, confined to wetter microhabitats on the drier Pacific side.

Habitat. Forest understory and edge, especially in light gaps and along sunny trails and streams within forest.

Species range. Guatemala to Colombia, Venezuela, and Peru.

Abundance. Uncommon

Phenology. Flower: Jan, Feb, Apr (anytime of year); Fruit: during and immediatley following flowering.

Herbivores. Oleria vicina

Pollinators. Bees

Seed dispersers. Unknown

Comments. A quite distinctive member of the forest understory because of its compound leaves with deep purple undersides.

Voucher No. Haber 10687


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Images and text copyright © 2001 by William A. Haber, www.cs.umb.edu/efg
Created: 21 February 2001. Updated: 24 July 2001.