Herbs, shrubs, climbers, or small trees, sometimes prickly; hairs simple, branched, or stellate, sometimes glandular. Leaves solitary or paired, simple or pinnately compound, mostly petiolate; leaf blade entire, dentate, lobed, or parted. Inflorescences axillary, extra-axillary, or leaf opposed, mostly racemose, paniclulate, umbellate, fasciculate, or solitary flowers, without bracts; peduncle branched or not, sometimes obsolete. Flowers bisexual or andromonoecious, mostly actinomorphic, often 5-merous. Calyx mostly lobed partway and splitting further at sinuses. Corolla mostly rotate or stellate. Stamens inserted high in corolla tube; anthers often connivent or connate around style, dehiscing by apical pores, often later splitting longitudinally. Ovary 2-5-locular, with enlarged placentae; ovules axile, numerous. Stigma small. Fruiting calyx persistent, sometimes enlarged and enclosing berry. Berries mostly juicy. Seeds discoid or lenticular; embryo strongly curved.
Arboles, arbustos, trepadoras o hierbas, glabros o pubescentes con tricomas simples, ramificados o estrellados, a veces armados. Hojas alternas o en pares, simples y enteras a lobadas o compuestas; pecioladas o sésiles. Inflorescencias básicamente cimosas, racemosas, paniculadas o las flores solitarias, terminales pero tornándose axilares, laterales u opuestas a las hojas, mayormente ebracteadas, pedúnculos presentes o ausentes, pedicelos generalmente presentes, flores (4) 5 (6)-meras; cáliz generalmente campanulado o cupuliforme; corola rotácea, actinomorfa o a veces zigomorfa, leve o profundamente lobada, frecuentemente con abundante tejido intersticial; estambres insertos en la base del tubo de la corola, los filamentos basalmente unidos en el punto de inserción, generalmente iguales, las anteras oblongas o atenuadas, dehiscencia por poros terminales y más tarde a veces por hendeduras longitudinales; ovario 2-carpelar, a veces 4-locular por la formación de septos falsos, óvulos mayormente numerosos, nectario ausente, el estilo pequeño, a veces exerto. Fruto una baya, jugosa o seca; semillas generalmente numerosas, mayormente amarillentas o café claras, comprimidas y discoides, lenticulares o aplanadas, con el embrión enrollado.
Uno de los géneros más grandes de plantas con flores, con más de 1000 especies, distribuidas en todos los continentes, pero mejor representado en América tropical; 53 especies en Nicaragua. La colección tipo de S. nicaraguense Rydb., Flint 8 (US, no examinada), supuestamente colectada en Nicaragua, es en verdad S. commersonii Dunal, una especie restringida al noreste de Argentina y Uruguay. No se conoce ningún otro espécimen de Centroamérica que se parezca a esta especie de papa silvestre. S. commersonii fue descrita en 1813, y Hawkes relacionó el espécimen de Flint con esta especie. S. sanctae-catharinae Dunal, una especie de Brasil, fue erróneamente asignada a Nicaragua en el Index Kewensis.
D. Correll. The potato and its wild relatives. Contr. Texas Res. Found., Bot. Stud. 4: vii606. 1962; J.G. Hawkes. A revision of the tuber-bearing Solanums (second edition). Rec. Scott. Pl. Breed. Sta. 1963: 76181. 1963; K.E. Roe. A revision of Solanum sect. Brevantherum (Solanaceae) in North and Central America. Brittonia 19: 353373. 1967; K.E. Roe. A revision of Solanum sect. Brevantherum (Solanaceae). Brittonia 24: 239278. 1972; M.D. Whalen, D.E. Costich y C.B. Heiser. Taxonomy of Solanum section Lasiocarpum. Gentes Herb. 12: 41129. 1981; S.D. Knapp. A Revision of Solanum section Geminata (G. Don) Walpers. Ph.D. Thesis, Cornell University, Ithaca. 1986; M. Nee. Solanaceae II. Fl. Veracruz 72: 1158. 1993.
Herbs, shrubs, trees, lianas, rarely epiphytic or paludal, armed or not, glabrous or pubescent with a variety of simple, branched, stellate, peltate hairs,4 these often glandular, sometimes accompanied by bristles; some species procumbent or root-climbing, sarmentose, or tuber-bearing. Leaves simple or compound, entire, toothed or variously lobed, sometimes armed; petiolate or sessile, some- times clasping the stem; often in a paired arrangement with one smaller (minor) and the other larger (major), and minor leaves sometimes present at dichotomies of the stem; exstipulate, but the minor leaves sometimes pseudostipular. In- florescence terminal, axillary, opposite the leaves or lateral on the stem, often positioned by concaulescence with the stem, consisting of terminal cincinni which are sometimes curling (scorpioid), elongate (racemose) or contracted (um- bellate) and inserted on a peduncle which may be branched (paniculate), very
short (fascicled), or simple (racemose), rarely consisting of a solitary flower on the stem, ebracteate and ebracteolate, pedicels often with articulation above the base perhaps indicating ancestral bracteoles. Flowers mostly perfect, rarely dioeceous or monoeceous, not uncommonly with developmental polygamy, (4-) 5( -6) -merous, sometimes zygomorphic; calyx mostly manifestly lobed, each lobe vascularized by a trace distinct from the base of the pedicel, mostly splitting at the sinuses during egress of flower or fruit, sometimes accrescent in fruit and loosely or tightly investing the berry; corolla rotate with a very short tube, deeply or shallowly lobed; stamens equal or not, the filaments inserted on the corolla tube, often partially connate, rarely wanting, sometimes pubescent, the anthers basifixed or nearly so, opening by 2 terminal pores and sometimes ultimately longitudinally, dehiscence introrse or extrorse, rarely pubescent, mostly connivant into a tube but rarely connate, the connective small; ovary 2-loculed with pro- liferation of the placenta, the ovules many, the style (pistillate) equalling or ex- ceeding the anthers, rarely persistent, the stigma small, 2-4-lobed. Fruit a juicy, mucilaginous, fleshy, woody or dry berry, sometimes partly hollow, mostly falling from the receptacle, mostly flattened but sometimes prismatic or almost spheroidal, the embryo circinnate around the periphery of the seed, the endosperm fleshy.
"Cor rotate or broadly campanulate; filaments very short; anthers oblong to lanceolate or linear, connivent or connate around the style, opening (in our spp.) by terminal pores or short terminal clefts; fr a many-seeded berry, the seeds mostly wingless; herbs, shrubs, or small trees, the infls in our spp. generally arising opposite or between the lvs. Perhaps 1500 spp., widespread, but best developed in trop. Amer. All our spp. bloom in summer, often continuing until the fall."
Corolla most often flushed purple, violet or blue, sometimes mauve or white, more rarely yellow, shortly tubular to campanulate, rotate or deeply stelliform; tube usually short; limb usually broad, entire to deeply lobed or even divided to the base, spreading to reflexed, the lobes usually ± pubescent to tomentose on the back, united or not by a membrane, with plicate or induplicate-valvate aestivation.
Stamens equal to unequal, ± as long as the corolla lobes, usually exserted; filaments often short, glabrous or pubescent, inserted on the corolla tube at varying heights, often partially connate or united at the base forming a ring or rarely wanting; anthers usually all fertile, rarely rudimentary, short and thick to elongate and tapered, occasionally prolonged into a sterile appendage, rarely pubescent, usually connivent around the style, rarely connate, attached at the base or shortly above, dehiscing by terminal pores, these sometimes developing into short or long slits; connective sometimes enlarged.
Ovary usually ± globose, basically 2-locular with an expanded axile placenta, sometimes elaborated and developing 1–2 secondary ("false") septa between its principal lobes, appearing 3–4-locular, or dividing into branches filling the locules, the ovules hemicampylotropous, numerous; style simple, equalling or exceeding the anthers, terete, erect or declinate and somewhat sigmoid in shape and then with the stigmatic tip often bent or almost hooked, rarely persistent; stigma terminal, capitate, small or slightly elongate, obscurely 2–4-lobed to markedly 2-fid.
Leaves alternate, sometimes appearing in pairs with one larger (major) and the other smaller (minor), petiolate or sessile, sometimes clasping the stem, entire to deeply lobed or pinnatisect, sometimes prickly, sometimes with pseudostipules.
Herbs, shrubs or trees, sometimes climbing, with fibrous or tuber-bearing roots or rhizomatous, sometimes armed with straight to hooked prickles, usually pubescent with a variety of simple, branched or stellate, rarely peltate, eglandular or glandular hairs, sometimes accompanied by bristles, often with multicellular glands intermixed, rarely glabrous.
Seeds few–many, mostly flattened, compressed laterally, mostly discoidal or ± reniform, rarely surrounded by a distinct wing or appearing tomentose or hirsute; testa smooth or minutely pitted, less often muricate; embryo circinnate, sub-marginal in the fleshy usually abundant endosperm; cotyledons ovate to linear-lanceolate in outline, incumbent or sometimes oblique.
Fruit a berry, pale green, yellow to red, brown to purple, ± black or ivory-white, usually globose, sometimes ovoid, rarely conical or oblong, when ripe juicy, mucilaginous, fleshy, papery or bony, sometimes partially hollow, rarely dry and sub-capsular, usually 2-locular with slightly enlarged placental area in the centre of the septum, from it radiating the seeds into the usually pulp-filled locules between the septum and the pericarp, becoming unilocular by reduction of the septum, more rarely 3–4-locular by proliferation of it, sometimes aromatic, mostly falling from the receptacle, with or without sclerotic granules.
Calyx longer than the corolla tube, campanulate, rotate or cupular, with (4)5(10) valvate teeth or lobes, sometimes accrescent and sometimes investing the fruit when mature, the lobes appressed or loosely raised, sometimes reflexed, when mature mostly splitting at the sutures.
Flowers actinomorphic, sometimes slightly zygomorphic, (4)5(6)-merous, bisexual or the lower ones bisexual and the upper ones in the same inflorescence functionally male (female sterile by reduction of the ovary), elsewhere occasionally all unisexual; pedicels often articulated above the base to the midpoint (perhaps indicating ancestral bracteoles), rarely at the base, leaving small scars on the axes when shed.
Cymes developmentally terminal but quickly overtopped by the lateral shoot which is often fused with the basal part of the peduncle (concaulescent) so the cyme becomes lateral and extra-axillary, less often axillary or leaf-opposed, variously developed, consisting of terminal cincinni, sometimes curled (scorpioid), elongate (racemiform) or contracted (umbelliform), with a peduncle, sometimes dichotomously branched (paniculiform or corymbiform) or unbranched (racemiform), or ± sessile (fascicled), few–many-flowered, rarely 1-flowered, ebracteate and ebracteolate.
One of the largest genera of flowering plants, Solanum includes over 1,400 described species. Almost world-wide in distribution, the genus has the greatest number of species in tropical America, but there are many species in temperate America and in Africa.