Overview

Distribution

In cloud forests of the E Andean slope in Ecuador and N Peru, from 1000 to 1700 m.

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Physical Description

Diagnostic Description

Formal Description

Habit

Shrub or small tree, 2-6 m tall; young stems and leaves densely red-papillose, the new growth appearing greyish and matte on live plants; stems fleshy and green, strongly winged, the wings 2-5 mm broad; bark of older stems soon glabrate, greyish.

Sympodial Structure

Sympodial units difoliate, geminate.

Leaves

Leaves elliptic, widest at the middle, glabrous and shiny above, paler below, occasionally minutely red-papillose on the veins below; major leaves 20-50 x 10-20 cm, with 15-17 parallel pairs of main lateral veins, the apex acute, the base acuminate, decurrent on the petiole and from there onto the stem; petioles strongly winged from the bases of the decurrent leaf blades, 4-7 cm long; minor leaves differing from the major ones only in size, 15-19 x 9-11 cm, the apex acute, the base acuminate, winged onto the petiole; petioles 1.5-2 cm long.

Inflorescences

Inflorescences opposite the leaves, simple or very occasionally furcate, 0.5-1 cm long, 3-5-flowered, minutely red-papillose like the young stems and leaves; pedicel scars closely spaced and overlapping. Buds ovoid, the calyx a completely closed envelope until just before anthesis, when the corolla emerges and tears the lobes. Pedicels at anthesis white and fleshy, 1.5-2 cm long, abruptly narrowing below the calyx tube, then tapering to 0.5-1 mm in diam. dry specimens (thicker in live plants).

Flowers

Flowers with the calyx tube campanulate, 3-3.5 mm long, occasionally minutely red-papillose, the lobes very irregular in shape, 3-5 mm long, the margins thick and white in dry specimens; corolla white, rather fleshy, 2-3 cm in diam., planar at anthesis, lobed nearly to the base, the corolla tube only 1 mm long, the lobes wider at the middle than at the base, the tips and margins of the lobes minutely papillose; anthers 4-6 x 1-1.5 mm, poricidal at the tips, the pores tear-drop shaped, the anthers tightly connate at anthesis; free portion of the filaments ca. 1 mm long, the filament tube ca. 0.5 mm long; ovary densely pinkish-grey papillose, the papillae minute in flower, growing with the fruit; style straight, ca. 1.3 cm long; stigma bilobed, the surface minutely papillose.

Fruits

Flowers with the calyx tube campanulate, 3-3.5 mm long, occasionally minutely red-papillose, the lobes very irregular in shape, 3-5 mm long, the margins thick and white in dry specimens; corolla white, rather fleshy, 2-3 cm in diam., planar at anthesis, lobed nearly to the base, the corolla tube only 1 mm long, the lobes wider at the middle than at the base, the tips and margins of the lobes minutely papillose; anthers 4-6 x 1-1.5 mm, poricidal at the tips, the pores tear-drop shaped, the anthers tightly connate at anthesis; free portion of the filaments ca. 1 mm long, the filament tube ca. 0.5 mm long; ovary densely pinkish-grey papillose, the papillae minute in flower, growing with the fruit; style straight, ca. 1.3 cm long; stigma bilobed, the surface minutely papillose.

Seeds

Seeds pale tan, ovoid-reniform, ca. 5 x 4 mm, the surfaces minutely pitted.

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Type Information

Isotype for Solanum abitaguense S. Knapp
Catalog Number: US 3024846
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): S. Knapp & J. Mallet
Year Collected: 1984
Locality: Cashurcu, 13-14 km W of Mera on Banos - Mera rd., Tungurahua, Ecuador, South America
Elevation (m): 1200 to 1400
  • Isotype: Knapp, S. 1986. Brittonia. 38: 290.
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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Isotype for Solanum abitaguense S. Knapp
Catalog Number: US 3071362
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): S. Knapp & J. Mallet
Year Collected: 1984
Locality: Cashurcu, 13-14 km W of Mera on Banos - Mera road., Tungurahua, Ecuador, South America
Elevation (m): 1200 to 1400
  • Isotype: Knapp, S. 1986. Brittonia. 38: 290.
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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Isotype for Solanum abitaguense S. Knapp
Catalog Number: US 3071359
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): S. Knapp & J. Mallet
Year Collected: 1984
Locality: Cashurcu, 13-14 km W of Mera on Banos - Mera road., Tungurahua, Ecuador, South America
Elevation (m): 1200 to 1400
  • Isotype: Knapp, S. 1986. Brittonia. 38: 290.
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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Evolution and Systematics

Systematics or Phylogenetics

Phylogeny

Solanum abitaguense is a member of the Solanum robustifrons species group (Knapp, 2002) of the Geminata clade (Bohs, 2005).

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References and More Information

Commentary

Solanum abitaguense is closely related to S. cucullatum of western Ecuador. Both species have strongly parallel primary leaf venation, fleshy leaves, and reddish papillose trichomes on the new growth. Solanum abitaguense and S. cucullatum are difficult to distinguish on the herbarium sheet, but fresh material is quite distinct. Characters useful in distinguishing S. abitaguense are its shorter buds, less fleshy, more deeply lobed corolla, and its strongly winged, green stems.

Solanum abitaguense grows in light gaps along streams in forest, often with its roots in the water. The buds, flowers, fruits and seeds of S. abitaguense are the largest (barring S. cucullatum) in section Geminata. The calyx is peculiar in bud, being a closed structure, even at at the tip, until just before anthesis: the exsertion of the corolla tears the calyx into irregular lobes. This character, in young buds, is shared with S. cucullatum. Another peculiar character shared by these two extremely closely related species is the indument of the ovary, and then the fruit. The ovary in flower is densely covered with pinkish-grey papillose trichomes, which are much more obvious in dry than fresh specimens. The trichomes persist on the fruit but become less dense as the fruit expands. The trichomes on dry specimens appear somewhat resinous, but this is not at all apparent in fresh specimens.

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