Solanum macrocarpon L.

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Solanum macrocarpon

Photo: Bart Wursten
By stream at base of Mt Bunga, northwestern Gorongosa National Park.

Solanum macrocarpon

Photo: Bart Wursten
By stream at base of Mt Bunga, northwestern Gorongosa National Park.

Solanum macrocarpon

Photo: Bart Wursten
By stream at base of Mt Bunga, northwestern Gorongosa National Park.

Solanum macrocarpon

Photo: Bart Wursten
By stream at base of Mt Bunga, northwestern Gorongosa National Park.

Solanum macrocarpon

Photo: Bart Wursten
By stream at base of Mt Bunga, northwestern Gorongosa National Park.

Solanum macrocarpon

Photo: Bart Wursten
By stream at base of Mt Bunga, northwestern Gorongosa National Park.

Solanum macrocarpon

Photo: Bart Wursten
By stream at base of Mt Bunga, northwestern Gorongosa National Park.

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Solanum acanthoideum E. Mey.
Solanum atropo Schumach & Thonn.
Solanum dasyphyllum Schumach. & Thonn.
Solanum duplosinuatum Klotzsch
Solanum thonningianum Jacq. f.
Common names: African eggplant (English)
Frequency:
Status: Native
Description:
Shrubby annual or perennial herb, up to 1.5 m high, most parts, including leaves and calyx lobes more or less densely armed with spines, occasionally (in cultivars) unarmed. Leaves alternate, subsessile, ovate to obovate, deeply lobed, stellate hairy when young, later mostly hairless except for the midrib; base decurrent into the subpetiole; usually with long prickles on midrib and secondary veins above and below. Flowers in 2-6-flowered heads. Calyx lobes with prickles, greatly extending in fruit. Corolla 5-6-lobed, white, bluish to purple, 1.6-2.5 cm in diameter. Fruit (depressed) globose, 3-4.5 cm in diameter, glossy, green-white to yellow when young, golden-yellow to orange-yellow when ripe. Usually very bitter but edible when cooked in some cultivars.
Notes: The species is sometimes cultivated for its edible fruit, particularly in West Africa. Although the density of spines can vary most wild plants are densely spiny while many completely unarmed cultivars also exist.
Derivation of specific name: macrocarpum: large-fruited.
Habitat: Edges of forest, floodplains, river banks and cultivated ground.
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 1765 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Widespread throughout Africa, Madagascar and Mascarene Islands. Also introduced in the Antilles, South America, Europe and southern Asia.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,C
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Sunday 14 June 2015
Literature:

Gonçalves, A.E. (2005). Solanaceae Flora Zambesiaca 8(4) Pages 105 - 107.


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Other sources of information about Solanum macrocarpon:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Solanum macrocarpon
Flora of Mozambique: Solanum macrocarpon
Flora of Zambia: Solanum macrocarpon

External websites:

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


Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-16

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2016). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Solanum macrocarpon.
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=150680, retrieved 27 July 2016

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