Members of the Dulcamaroid clade are all woody plants and are either shrubs to vines. Some are large canopy lianas, while other vining species are woody only at the base. All representatives have beautiful clusters of flowers varying in color from deep purple, through fuchsia and pale pink, to pure white. Species in the group are native to both the New and Old Worlds - with the highest species diversity in Argentina and Peru. Among the species included in this revision is the common European woody nightshade, Solanum dulcamara, distributed all over the northern hemisphere and having a long history of medicinal use.
One new species was described in this publication: Solanum agnoston comes from the inter Andean valleys of Southern Ecuador and is only known from two collections. Many of the other species of the group are similarly rare - of the 45 species 14 are threatened or endangered. Two of the most well-known decorative representatives of the group featured in the study are S. crispum, also known as Chilean potato vine or Chilean nightshade, and S. laxum, commonly called potato climber or jasmine nightshade. Both of these species are native to South America - S. crispum from Chile and S. laxum from southern Brazil and Argentina - but are today cultivated all over the world.
Publication in PhytoKeys means the data from the in-depth taxonomic work will be shared with a wide audience who can re-use the data for further work with these plants. All of the descriptions are shared with the Encyclopedia of Life and all specimen data are available as a spreadsheet download from the journal website.
Knapp, S. 2013. A revision of the Dulcamaroid Clade of Solanum L. (Solanaceae). PhytoKeys 22: 1-432 (http://www.pensoft.net/journals/phytokeys/issue/22/)