Solanum aturense Dunal
SolanaceaePotato Family

Flower
Flower
Flowering habit
Flowering habit



Identification
  - high-climbing liana or sprawling shrub in pastures
  - dense stellate hairs and recurved spines
  - paired leaves with small marginal points
  - 3 cm flowers, white flushed with lavender

Description: Sprawling shrub or liana to 15 m; dense stalked stellate hairs and curved spines on stems and leaves; leaves paired, medium sized with a few poorly defined marginal points; flowers 3--4 cm across, corolla white flushed with lavender or purple, lobes narrow and free almost to base; fruit 2 cm, globose, orange.

Similar species
Solanum lanceifolium
Solanum chrysotrichum

Local distribution: Wet forest on Pacific slope from 1300 m to high cloud forest; down to lowlands on Atlantic slope.

Species range: Mexico to South America (Venezuela, Peru)

Habitat: Light gaps in forest, forest edge, overgrown pastures.

Herbivores
Hyalyris excelsa
Mechanitis lysimnia
Mechanitis menapis
Mechanitis polymnia
Scada zibia

Phenology: Flower: most of the year (dec-may). Fruit: most of year (jun-jul).

Pollinators: Bees

Seed dispersers: Birds (and possibly bats and arboreal mammals)

Comments: Formerly called Solanum siparunoides. This heavily spined climber is common on forest edges, in open pastures, and on roadsides, but occasionally also grows as a high-climbing liana in the forest, usually in old tree fall gaps. This wide-ranging plant is eaten by more ithomiine species than just about any other member of the Solanaceae in Costa Rica. It becomes increasingly scarce down the dry Pacific slope below Monteverde.



Credits: Images and text copyright 2002-2006 by William A. Haber, http://efg.cs.umb.edu/