Flowers and leaves. Australian Plant Image Index, photo: Murray Fagg, Australian National Botanic Gardens, ACT

Flowers and leaves. Australian Plant Image Index, photo: Denise Grieg, Pilliga State Forest, NSW

Common Name

Spiny Potato-bush




Shrub to 1.3m tall.  Spines on the stems, the stalks and midribs of the leaves, and the flower and fruit stalks.  Leaves alternating up the stems, sometimes with 1-2 basal lobes, 2-10cm long, 2-7mm wide, flat to linear, upper surface sparsely sticky hairy, lower surface densely hairy, margins entire. Flowers white or pale blue to purple, with a very short tube and 5 (sometimes 4) lobes, solitary or in open clusters of 3-6 flowers on stems arising from the bases of the leaves.   Fruit red turning black.

Description and photo (as Solanum ferocissimum var. ferocissimum) in G.M. Cunningham, WE Mulham, PL Milthorpe and J H Leigh (1981 and later printings) Plants of Western New South Wales page 594

PlantNET description:

Online fact sheet published by the South Australian Herbarium: