Witheringia solanacea L'Hér.

Solanaceae– Potato Family


Identification:

– herb in pastures

– leaves paired with dense soft hairs

– flowers pale yellow with green spots at base

– fruit bright orange, round, 6-10 mm

flower

fruit

Description. Short weak shrub, rarely reaching 5 m; leaves paired, soft pubescent, dull green; flowers yellow-green with darker green spots in basal half; fruit bright red, 7-12 mm.

Similar species.
Witheringia coccoloboides- a common shrub of higher cloud forest and wet Atlantic slope, leaves matte green and glabrous

Witheringia meiantha- a common shrub of forest sites with glabrous leaves and similar flowers and fruits.

Local distribution. Pacific slope at 600 to 1500 m.

Habitat. Pasture, over grown roadside, forest edge, stream margins, rarely inside mature forest.

Species range. Mexico to Bolivia.

Abundance. Common

Phenology. Flowers and fruits present most of year, but more abundant in wet season.

Herbivores. Ithomia patilla

Pollinators. Small bees

Seed dispersers. Birds

Comments. The leaves often have pale gray patches, apparently from disease. Often abundant at the edge of forest/pasture in intermittent shade.

Voucher No. Fuentes 28


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Images and text copyright © 2001 by William A. Haber, www.cs.umb.edu/efg
Created: 28 April 2001. Updated: 15 November 2001.