Solanaceae Source

A global taxonomic resource for the nightshade family

Solanum falciforme

Citation author: 
PhytoKeys 1: 68. 2010.
Last edited by: 
Sandra Knapp (May 2014)
Written by: 
Frank Farruggia
Shrub or small tree 1–3 (–4) m × ca. 2–5 cm dbh. Trunk with sharp, stout broad-based prickles, the bark grey-brown to reddish-dark brown, smooth to slightly roughened; flowering stems armed with broad-based prickles, very densely pubescent with sessile to short-stalked light tan multangulate-stellate hairs, the apex 0.1–0.3 mm in diameter, the rays 7–10+, moderately to densely pubescent with falcate long-stalked stellate hairs, the stalks ca. 4–6.2 mm, multiseriate, the apex 0.1–0.3 mm in diameter, the rays 5–7.
Sympodial structure: 
Sympodial units difoliate, geminate.
Leaves simple, the blades ca. 19–25 × 7–17 cm or more, ca. 2.5 times as long as wide, lanceolate, coriaceous, slightly discolorous, the fresh and dried leaves light green adaxially, lighter green abaxially, the adaxial surface very densely pubescent when young with stalked stellate hairs, these nearly absent on older plants, the stalks ca. 0.1–0.3 mm, multiseriate at the base, the rays 7–8, the midpoints ca. 0.1 mm, these mixed with abundant short simple glandular hairs beneath the stellate pubescence, the abaxial surface very densely pubescent with golden-tan multiseriate-stalked porrect-stellate hairs, the stalks 0.2–0.4 mm, the rays 7–10, the midpoints absent; major veins 5–6 on either side of midvein, abundantly armed with broad-based prickles and falcate long-stalked stellate hairs; base cordate to oblique; margin entire to deeply repand; apex acute to obtuse; petioles (1–) 3–5 cm, densely pubescent with hairs like those of the young stems.
Inflorescences 3–9.5 cm, extraaxillary, unbranched, with 8–15 flowers, the plants strongly andromonoecious, with one to few hermaphroditic flower(s) at the base of the inflorescence and all other flowers functionally staminate, the axes densely stellate-pubescent with hairs like those of the stems, armed or unarmed; peduncle 18–22 mm; rachis 2–8 cm; pedicels 4–10 mm in flower and fruit, densely congested, spaced 1–4 mm apart, articulated at base.
Flowers 5-merous, heterstylous. Calyx ca. 2.5 cm long, the tube at anthesis 2–3 mm, the lobes ca. 20 × 2 mm, the apex acute, the abaxial surface densely pubescent with short-stalked to sessile porrect-stellate hairs and falcate long-stalked stellate hairs, armed or unarmed; fruiting calyx tube becoming slightly thickened and accrescent with maturity, the lobes 7–15 × 3–8 mm, slightly reflexed, subtending but not enclosing the fruit. Corolla 3.5–4.5 cm in diameter, 16–23 mm long, stellate to rotate-stellate with abundant interpetalar tissue, lobed for more than half of its length, membranaceous, violet to blue, the tube 6–8.2 mm, the lobes 16–19 × 3.5–4 mm, deltate, moderately pubescent adaxially with sessile to short-stalked multangulate or porrect-stellate hairs, the rays 5–10, the midpoints often pronounced, ca. 0.1–0.2 mm long, densely pubescent abaxially with sessile to short-stalked porrect-stellate and falcate long-stalked stellate hairs. Stamens equal, the filament tube 0–0.1 mm, the free part of the filaments 1.5–1.8 mm, glabrous; anthers ca. 13 × 2.8 mm, tapered, connivent, yellow, the pores directed distally, opening into longitudinal slits with age, the connective stellate-pubescent. Ovary densely pubescent with sessile stellate hairs; style in hermaphroditic flowers 14–15 × 0.2–0.5 mm, cylindrical, curved at apex, glabrous or sparsely pubescent in lower half with sessile stellate or short-stalked unbranched glandular hairs; style in staminate flowers vestigial; stigma capitate, slightly bilobed.
Fruit a berry, 5–7.5 cm in diameter, globose, likely green at maturity, powdery pubescent with stellate hairs.
Seeds unknown.
Chromosome number: 

Not known.


Solanum falciforme is endemic to Brazil. Found in cerrado and along roadsides, 380–1300 m in elevation, common in States of Goiás and Distrito Federal, but also occurring in Bahia and Minas Gerais.

Flowering specimens were collected in January–December. Fruiting specimens were collected in January, March, June and July.

Solanum falciforme is a member of the Crinitum/Androceras clade (sensu Stern et al. 2011), section Crinitum sensu stricto.


Within Solanum section Crinitum, Solanum falciforme most closely resembles Solanum lycocarpum A. St.-Hil., Solanum gomphodes Dunal and Solanum crinitum Lam. All four species have pubescence of sessile to short-stalked porrect-stellate hairs and distributions centered in eastern Brazil. Solanum gomphodes can be easily distinguished from Solanum falciforme by its sessile leaves (vs. petioles usually 3–5 cm long in Solanum falciforme) and exclusively short-stalked stellate hairs. Solanum lycocarpum and Solanum crinitum are sympatric with Solanum falciforme, but the former two species have much broader distributions throughout South America. Solanum falciforme is easily distinguished from S. lycocarpum and S. crinitum by the presence of macroscopic falcate (sickle-shaped) long-stalked bristly hairs on the young stems as well as the inflorescence and calyx. Collections of Solanum crinitum often have similar long-stalked trichomes on the young stems, inflorescence and calyx; however the stalks of these hairs are straight. Solanum lycocarpum is similar to the other three taxa in its abundant pubescence of short-stalked stellate hairs, but the distinctive long-stalked hairs found in Solanum falciforme are noticeably absent.


For references cited here please see Farruggia & Bohs. 2010.Two new South American species of Solanum section Crinitum (Solanaceae). PhytoKeys 1: 67–77.

Common names and uses: 

Brazil: Lobeiro (Costich 1017); fruto do lobo (Macedo 3245, Heringer 10718).

Conservation status: 

According to the IUCN Red List Categories (IUCN 2010), Solanum falciforme is classified asVU-B1a+biii; A2c (Vulnerable). Populations of this species are located near expanding population centers leading to highly fragmented populations. The extent of occupancy is estimated to be less than 20, 000 km2. There is also a continuing decline in suitable habitat in these regions due to deforestation and the establishment of new settlements.

Mon, 2014-05-05 17:28 -- sandy
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith