Solanum argenteum Dunal ex Poir.
SolanaceaePotato Family

Flowering habit
Flowering habit

  - erect, 2-8 m treelets
  - leaves glossy white below from dense scale-like, stellate hairs
  - small green-white flowers, 8-10 mm across
  - globose black berries on pendant penduncles

Description: Treelet mature at 2-8 m; twigs slender, covered with whitish, scale-like, stellate hairs; leaves distichous, mostly solitary, but paired where an inflorescence arises, petiole 8-10 mm, blade to 6 x 14 cm, dark green above, glossy white below with dense, appressed scale-like hairs, elliptic to lanceolate, vains keeled above, weakly bullate, minor leaves ovate, 30-50% the length of major leaves, strong acrid odor in shredded leaf; inflorescence arising next to minor leaf, peduncle to 5 cm, bent somewhat underneath major leaf, branched apically; flowers with corolla lobes green-white, 4 mm long, anthers yellow, blunt, 2 mm; fruit globose black berries to 10 mm, pedicels 7-9 mm, apically thickened.

Similar species
Solanum schlechtendalianum

Local distribution: Pacific slope at 1000- 1500 m; Atlantic slope from lowlands to 1300 m.

Species range: Mexico to Brazil

Habitat: Old pastures, forest edge, light gaps and stream margins in forest.

Phenology: Flower: may. Fruit: may-jun.

Pollinators: Bees

Seed dispersers: Birds, bats?

Comments: Not known to be an ithomiine hostplant. Very similar to S. schlechtendalianum, which has an even stronger unpleasant odor.

Credits: Images and text copyright 2002-2006 by William A. Haber,