Solanum incanum L.

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Solanum incanum

Photo: Bart Wursten
Leopard Rock Game Reserve, Vumba

Solanum incanum

Photo: Bart Wursten
Leopard Rock Game Reserve, Vumba

Solanum incanum

Photo: Bart Wursten
Ndundu Lodge, Vumba

Solanum incanum

Photo: Bart Wursten
By the lodges, Lake Kyle Recreational Park

Solanum incanum

Photo: Bart Wursten
By the lodges, Lake Kyle Recreational Park

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Synonyms: Solanum bojeri Dunal
Solanum campylacanthum Hochst.
Solanum delagoense Dunal
Solanum lichtensteinii Willd.
Solanum panduriforme E. Mey.
Common names: Bitter apple (English) Intume (Ndebele) Munhomboro (Shona) Munhundurwa (Shona) Poison apple (English) Snake apple (English) Sodom apple (English) Thorn apple (English) Umdulukwa (Ndebele)
Frequency: Common
Status: Probably introduced
Description:
Herbaceous or soft wooded shrub, 0.5 to 3 m. A very variable species, which may be armed on most parts, including the leaves, or may occasionally be unarmed. Stems and undersides of leaves may be densely covered in a whitish felt of stellate hairs, turning glabrescent with age. Leaves from lanceolate to broadly ovate; margin entire to deeply lobed with broadly triangular or rounded lobes; prickles on the midrib and lateal veins may or may not be present. Flowers in clusters along the branches, sometimes axillary or leaf-opposed; corolla pale to deep blue, mauve or purple, occasionally white, 1.5 cm in diameter, fragrant. Fruit spherical, green, often striped or mottled with white, turning yellow to orange-brown when ripe.
Notes: The fruits are poisonous and used as a traditional medicine for many ailments. As can be seen from the description, this is an extremely variable species, but based on the many intermediates and hybridization between the forms, the latest literature on Solanaceae (FZ 8-4, 2005) maintains it as one taxon. However, some forms appear to be so distinct in our region that they have been variously described as separate species. For further notes see Solanum panduriforme.
Derivation of specific name: incanum: hoary, white
Habitat: Mostly as a weed of disturbed and overgrazed areas and road sides, but also found in various types of woodland, and along the margins of riverine and evergreen forest.
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 2000 m
Flowering time:Nov - Mar
Worldwide distribution: Of unknown origin, but now widespread throughout the paleotropics.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,E,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Tuesday 12 September 2006
Literature:

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Other sources of information about Solanum incanum:

Our websites:

Flora of Mozambique: Solanum incanum
Flora of Zambia: Solanum incanum

External websites:

African Plant Database: Solanum incanum
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Solanum incanum
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Solanum incanum
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Solanum incanum
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Solanum incanum
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Solanum incanum
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Solanum incanum
Ispot Southern Africa : Solanum incanum
JSTOR Plant Science: Solanum incanum
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Solanum incanum
Tropicos: Solanum incanum
West African Plants database: Solanum incanum


Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-14

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2014). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Solanum incanum.
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=150670, retrieved 2 August 2014

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