Seeds of South Australia
Solanum simile (Solanaceae)
List of species for Solanum
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Seed collecting:
December to June
Herbarium regions:
Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Least Concern
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Least Concern
Tintinara (NCP04) 
 Least Concern
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Least Concern
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [edge of range; Monarto area; could be stable]
Broughton (FLB02)Flinders Lofty Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i))
Olary Spur (FLB03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i))
Southern Flinders (FLB04) 
 Least Concern
Northern Flinders (FLB05) 
 Near Threatened   [fire responsive]
Central Flinders (FLB06) 
 Least Concern   [fire responsive]
Southern Yorke (EYB01)Eyre Yorke Block
 Least Concern   [after fires, widespread across state]
St Vincent (EYB02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i))   [likes scrubby areas]
Eyre Hills (EYB03) 
 Least Concern
Talia (EYB04) 
 Least Concern
Eyre Mallee (EYB05) 
 Least Concern
South Olary Plain (MDD01)Murray Darling Depression
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [comes up after fire]
Murray Mallee (MDD02) 
 Least Concern
Murray Lakes and Coorong (MDD03) 
 Near Threatened
Lowan Mallee (MDD04) 
 Least Concern
Wimmera (MDD05) 
 Data Deficient
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)Riverina
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Definite Decline)
Myall Plains (GAW01)Gawler
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Gawler Volcanics (GAW02) 
 Least Concern
Nullarbor Plain (NUL02)Nullarbor
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [no records]
Yalata (NUL03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [no records]
Hampton (HAM01)Hampton
 Least Concern
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic PlainRare
  (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
3 of 4 subregionsNaracoorte Coastal PlainLeast Concern
2 of 2 subregionsKanmantooLeast Concern
, Rare
5 of 6 subregionsFlinders Lofty BlockLeast Concern
, Near Threatened
, Rare
5 of 5 subregionsEyre Yorke BlockLeast Concern
, Rare
5 of 6 subregionsMurray Darling DepressionLeast Concern
, Near Threatened
, Rare
, Data Deficient
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)RiverinaVulnerable
  (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Definite Decline)
2 of 8 subregionsGawlerLeast Concern
, Rare
2 of 3 subregionsNullarborRare
Hampton (HAM01)HamptonLeast Concern
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. Simile from Latin meaning similar; possibly alluding to the species similarity to other Solanum.
Found in the southern part of South Australia, growing in drier, disturbed areas, gravel banks of creeks, roadside verges or seasonally flooded creek.  Also found in Western Australia, New South Wales and Victoria.
Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states. More abundant after fire.
Plant description:
Erect soft-wooded shrub to 2 m tall. Leaves elliptic to lanceolate, to 8 cm long and 2 cm wide, both surfaces green and glabrous. Juvenile leaves up to 19 cm long and 9 cm wide, shallowly lobed towards base. Inflorecence a spike of 12 violet flowers. Flowering between September and April.
Fruit type:
Globular fruit to 15 mm diameter, ripening green, sometimes tinged with purple, becoming slightly translucent, succulent and aromatic when ripe.
Seed type:
Orange-brown flat, round seed to 3 mm long and 2.5 mm wide, with a wrinkled surface. 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. Greener fruits can be collected if the seeds inside are hard and turning brown.
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 average to high, ranging from 80% to 100%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
4900 (6.43 g)
4200 (5.54 g)
Kangaroo Island
BGA10000 (40.11 g)TST729
Flinders Ranges
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
Jun-0761%13 d20 d leached in water 4 d, aerosol smoke 15 min;
filter paper over moist sand;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Jun-0760%13 d34 d leached in water 4 d;
filter paper over moist sand;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Jun-0752%13 d20 d aerosol smoke 7 min;
filter paper over moist sand;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Jun-0750%13 d20 d aerosol smoke 15 min;
filter paper over moist sand;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Jun-0741%13 dNA aerosol smoke 30 min;
filter paper over moist sand;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Jun-0734%20 dNA
filter paper over moist sand;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Jun-0733%20 dNA aerosol smoke 60 min;
filter paper over moist sand;
Incubated under spring/autumn 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)