Overview

Distribution

Central Mexico, states of Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Jalisco, México, Michoacán, Nayarit, Puebla, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, Zacatecas, and Distrito Federal, (800) 1450-2500 m; in and about cultivated fields, xerophytic scrublands, tropical deciduous forests, mesquite grasslands, or in areas of oak and pine forests.

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Physical Description

Diagnostic Description

Formal Description

Habit

Herbaceous tuber-bearing perennials 0.8 m tall. Stems 2-4 mm in diameter at base of plant.

Sympodial Structure

Sympodial units typically 3-6-foliate.

Leaves

Pseudostipules to 7-20 mm long, lunate. Leaves odd-pinnate, (3-) 5-15 (-30) cm long, 5-8 cm wide, pilose with simple and glandular hairs abaxially and abaxially; petioles 2.5-4.2 cm long; lateral leaflet pairs (1-) 2-3 (-4), the size of the lateral leaflets diminishing abruptly towards the base of the leaf; most distal lateral leaflets 1-10 cm long, 1-5 cm wide, ovate to ovate-lanceolate, apex acute to obtuse, base cordate, rounded, oblique to slightly truncate, sessile to petiolate with petiolules up to 5 mm; terminal leaflet 3-12 cm long, 1.5-6 cm wide, ovate-elliptic to elliptic-lanceolate, apex acute to acuminate, base cordate, rounded, cuneate, or oblique; interjected leaflets 0-2.

Inflorescences

Inflorescence a dichasially branched, ebracteate, monochasial or dichasial cyme, 2-3 forked, generally in the distal half of the plant, with 3-20 flowers, all flowers perfect, peduncle 1-11.5 cm long; pedicels 20-30 (-44) mm long, articulate between the proximal ¼ and the distal ¼.

Flowers

Flowers with the calyx 5-6 mm long, lobes elliptic, apiculate, acumens 1-2 mm long. Corollas 2-2.5 cm in diameter, stellate, without acumens, edges of corolla flat, not folded dorsally, white with tones of violet on the abaxial side of the lobe tips. Anthers 5-6 mm long, connate, yellow, apically poricidally dehiscent and often maturing to a short introrse apical slit, filaments 1-4 mm long. Ovary with style 10-13 mm long, exceeding stamens by 2.5-4 mm, straight, with stigma globose.

Fruits

Fruits 1 cm in diameter, globose, light green throughout.

Seeds

Seeds from living specimens green-white throughout, ovoid, ca. 2 mm long, with a thick covering of “hair-like” lateral walls of the testal cells that make the seeds mucilaginous when wet. Removal of these hair-like lateral walls by enzyme digestion reveals a honeycomb pattern at their base.

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Type Information

Isosyntype for Solanum cardiophyllum subsp. ehrenbergii Bitter
Catalog Number: US 453965
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): J. N. Rose & J. S. Rose
Year Collected: 1906
Locality: Near Querétaro., Queretaro, Mexico, North America
  • Isosyntype: Bitter, F. A. G. 1912. Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 11: 442.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany

Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

Flowering and fruiting July through October.

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Evolution and Systematics

Systematics or Phylogenetics

Phylogeny

Solanum ehrenbergii belongs to the potato clade of Solanum (Bohs, in press). Spooner and Sytsma (1992) placed S. ehrenbergii and all other North and Central American diploids (exclusive of S. bulbocastanum, S. cardiophyllum, and S. verrucosum) in the basal “clade 1” of section Petota based on chloroplast DNA restriction site data. These Mexican diploids were studied by Spooner and Lara-Cabrera (in press, a) with morphological and microsatellite data and by Lara-Cabrera and Spooner (in press b) with AFLP data. Spooner et al. (2004) placed S. ehrenbergii in the Stenophyllidia group which also contains the phenetically similar S. hintonii and S. stenophyllidium. They recognized this as a possibly paraphyletic group of convenience until more data were available on interspecific relationships.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Molecular Data

Chloroplast DNA restriction site data available in: Spooner and Sytsma (1992). AFLP, morphological, and microsatellite data listed in: Lara-Cabrera (2001).

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References and More Information

Commentary

Solanum ehrenbergii is very similar to S. stenophyllidium. It is distinguished by its ovate-lanceolate to lanceolate leaflets with the base cordate, oblique, or slightly truncate; in S. steonphyllidium the leaflets are linear to linear-lanceolate with an oblique base.

Hawkes (1963) proposed S. ×sambucinum as a hybrid of S. cardiophyllum subsp. ehrenbergii (S. ehrenbergii) and S. pinnatisectum. Solanum ×sambucinum has more numerous lateral leaflets (4-5) than S. ehrenbergii (2-3, rarely 4).

Bitter (1912) proposed a definitive description for Solanum cardiophyllum subsp. ehrenbergii based on a single specimen collected by Ehrenberg in Mexico and then housed at B; this holotype was destroyed. Spooner et al. (2004) agreed with Correll (1962) that S. ehrenbergii is an accepted species. Correll (1962: 262) chose as “lectotype” Rose & Rose 11183 but cited three herbaria (GH, NY, US). Spooner et al. (2004) followed Correll’s suggestion and designated Rose & Rose 11183 at GH as the neotype.

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