Seeds of South Australia
Solanum symonii (Solanaceae)
South Australian Kangaroo-apple
List of species for Solanum
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Seed collecting:
January to December
Herbarium regions:
Nullarbor, Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula
NRM regions:
Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Northern and Yorke
IBRA regions
Southern Yorke (EYB01)Eyre Yorke Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [after fires, coastal sands/limestone]
Eyre Hills (EYB03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Talia (EYB04) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)
Eyre Mallee (EYB05) 
 Least Concern
Nullarbor Plain (NUL02)Nullarbor
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Yalata (NUL03) 
 Least Concern
Hampton (HAM01)Hampton
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
RSCA map:
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion. Please click the thumbnail map.
AVH map:
Australian distribution map (external link)
SA Census:
Census of South Australian plants (external link)     [genus Solanum]
Name derivation:
Solanum was first used by Pliny the Elder (23–79) for S. nigrum, also known as strychnos and possibly from the Latin 'sol' meaning sun; referring to its status as a plant of the sun or from the Latin 'solamen' meaning solace, comfort; referring to the narcotic properties of some species. Symonii named after David E. Symon (1920-2011), South Australian botanist, renowned worldwide for his study of the Solanaceae family and author of the first major revision of Solanum for Australia since that of Bentham in the 1800s.  
Found scattered in South Australia along the Nullarbor, Eyre Peninsula and the tip of Yorke Peninsula, growing on stabilised dunes, in sandy soil over limestone, or in gypseous soil. Also found in Western Australia.
Native. Rare in South Australia. Common in Western Australia.
Plant description:
Erect, branching short lived perennial shrub to 1.5 m tall. Leaves are large, green with numerous deep lobes to 18 cm long and 8 cm wide. Inflorescence along a spike with 2-6 large pale lavender-purple flowers. Flowers throughout the year.
Fruit type:
Large green or tinged purple fleshy ovoid fruit to 1.5 cm diameter.
Seed type:
Orange-brown flat, round seed to 2.5 mm diameter, with numerous small ridges. Within the fruit there will be some white hard spherical material. These are not seed.
Embryo type:
Linear fully developed.
Seed collecting:
Pick fruits which are ripening, usually soft and green with tinge of purple. Green fruits can be collected if the seeds inside are hard and turning orange.
Seed cleaning:
Place the fruits in a bucket of water and rub with your hands to separate the seeds from the flesh. Wash the mixture with clean water and drain. Place the mixture on paper towel and leave to dry overnight. Then rub the dried material by hand to remove any remaining flesh from the seeds. Use a sieve to remove the unwanted material. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place.
Seed viability:
From two collections, the seed viability were high, ranging from 95% to 100%.
Seed germination:
Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily without pre-treatment.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA11000 (19.81 g)25-Nov-2009MJT246
BGA8000 (9.11 g)44-Nov-2009TST868
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.
Germination table:
DateResultT0T50Pre-treatment | Germination medium | Incubator: Photoperiod / Thermoperiod
Apr-1074%35 d49 d
1% agar with 100 mg/L potassium nitrate;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Apr-1072%42 d56 d
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Apr-1058%35 d56 d
1% agar with 250 mg/L gibberellic acid (pH 6.5);
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
1% agar with 100 mg/L potassium nitrate;
Incubated under winter conditions
1% agar with 250 mg/L gibberellic acid (pH 6.5);
Incubated under winter conditions
1% agar;
Incubated under winter conditions
Result: Maximum percentage of germination observed.
T0: Number of days before first germinant observed.
T50: Number of days to achieve 50% germination.
Pre-treatment: The initial treatment that the seeds received prior to placement on germination media.
Germination medium: The substrate that seeds were placed on for the duration of the germination experiment.
Incubator conditions:
Photoperiod: The duration of light exposure that the seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Thermoperiod: The constant or diurnal temperatures that seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Winter conditions: 15°C 20 h (3am→11pm); 5°C 4 h (11pm→3am) / 10 h light (8am→6pm); 14 h dark (6pm→8am)
Spring/Autumn conditions: 22°C 12 h (8am→8pm); 10°C 12 h (8pm→8am) / 12 h light (8am→8pm); 12 h dark (8pm→8am)
Summer conditions: 30°C 14 h (6am→8pm); 15°C 10 h (8pm→6am) / 14 h light (6am→8pm); 10 h dark (8pm→6am)