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Species profile—Solanum elachophyllum


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → SolanaceaeSolanum elachophyllum

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Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Scientific name
Solanum elachophyllum F.Muell.
WildNet taxon ID
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Conservation significant
Pest status
Solanum elachophyllum is a sprawling or erect rhizomatous, perennial grey-green shrub growing 0.1 to 0.4 m high. The juvenile branchlets have up to 30 prickles per decimetre (dm), 6 to 12 mm long. The adult branches are white or grey or brown, with 15 to 50 straight, acicular prickles per dm, 7 to 10 mm long. The adult leaves are elliptical and entire. The lamina is 0.5 to 1.5 cm long and 0.3 to 0.7 cm wide, the apex is obtuse and the base is cuneate. The upper lamina surface is green or grey-green in colour, with 0 to 2 straight, acicular, prickles, 2 to 7 mm long, which if present are confined to the midvein. The lower lamina surface is greenish-white, white, or yellowish, with sparse to dense stellae, prickles are absent.
The inflorescence is leaf-opposed and solitary or pseudo-racemose, with 1 or 2 bisexual flowers. Peduncle is 0-1 mm long. Pedicels 3 to 15 mm long at anthesis. The calyx tube is 2 to 2.5 mm long, lobes are deltate, 1 to 2.5 mm long. The corolla is mauve or purple, 7 to 10 mm long, deeply lobed, the inner surface is glabrous. The mature fruits are globular, 12 to 14 mm in diameter, pale green with dark green streaks, and only 1 per inflorescence. The seeds are pale yellow or brown black, 2.9 to 3.7 mm long (Purdie et al., 1982; Bean, 2004).
Solanum elachophyllum can be distinguished from all other Queensland Solanum species by the very small leaves (Bean, 2004).
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Solanum elachophyllum is endemic to Queensland and confined to the central subcoastal part of the state, from Middlemont to Theodore. The species occurs within Junee State Forest and Taunton National Park (Bean, 2004; Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Distributional limits
-22.1422472, 148.24
-24.840082, 150.1355834
Range derivation
Range derived from extent of the taxon's verified records
Solanum elachophyllum grows on fertile cracking-clay soils in open forest of Eucalyptus thozetiana, Acacia harpophylla, with understorey of Geijera parviflora, Casuarina cristata, Macropteranthes leichhardtii, Eucalyptus cambageana, or woodland of E. crebra and E. tenuipes (Bean, 2004; Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Flowers of Solanum elachophyllum have been recorded in February, March, July and September and mature fruits in March- May, July and September-October (Bean, 2004; Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Threatening processes
The main threatening processes to Solanum elachophyllum include habitat clearing, or reduced habitat availability and invasive weeds, particularly introduced pasture grasses (Bean, 2004). Other threats include destruction of individuals and populations on private freehold land by clearing of vegetation patches that are too small to be mapped as remnant (Vegetation Management Act 1999); chance stochastic events (e.g. changes in drainage, drought, wildlife predation, fire) that may reduce population sizes or eliminate them entirely (e.g. all extant populations are particularly susceptible due to the fragmented nature of the vegetation remnants and those on the Brigalow Research Station are being heavily grazed by wallabies (Bean, 2004)); genetic inbreeding depression due to small population size (all populations) (Forster, 2007).
Status notes
Solanum elachophyllum is listed as Endangered under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992.
Management documents
Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) (2011). Taunton National Park (Scientific) Management Plan. DERM, Brisbane
Management recommendations
There are no specific management recommendations for Solanum elachophyllum. However, within the Taunton National Park where this species occurs, monitoring of S. elachophyllum is recommended to improve species and management knowledge (DERM, 2011). Forster (2007) also stated that 'this species urgently requires further field survey to locate any additional populations and to precisely determine the number of populations, geographical range, area of occupancy and number of individuals'.
Occurs in the following Queensland pastoral districts: Leichhardt (Bostock and Holland, 2010).
Bean, A.R. (2004). The taxonomy and ecology of Solanum subg. Leptostemonum (Dunal) Bitter (Solanaceae) in Queensland and far north-eastern New South Wales, Australia. Austrobaileya 6 (4): 784-785.
Bostock, P.D. and Holland, A.E. (eds) (2010). Census of the Queensland Flora 2010. Queensland Herbarium, Department of Environment and Resource Management, Brisbane.
Forster, P.I. (2007). Nomination form and guidelines for listing protected wildlife under the Nature Conservation Act 1992. Species Technical Committee (February, 2008).
Purdie, R.W., Symon, D.E. and Haegi, L. in George, A.S. (Ed) (1982). Flora of Australia 29: 138-139.
Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) (2011). Taunton National Park (Scientific) Management Plan. DERM, Brisbane.
Queensland Herbarium (2012). Specimen label information. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 10/01/2012.
Profile author
Lynise Wearne (10/01/2012)

Other resources

Data source

This profile data is sourced from the QLD Wildlife Data API using the Get species by ID function used under CC-By 4.0.

This information is sourced from the WildNet database managed by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.

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Last updated
8 March 2022