Solanum betaceum Cav.


Anales Hist. Nat. 1: 44 (1799) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Sparingly established

Small foetid tree to 3 m high, green, pubescent with simple hairs mixed with short glandular hairs; prickles absent. Leaves ovate to broad-ovate, mostly 8–20 cm long and 5–12 cm wide, apex acute to shortly acuminate, base cordate, margins entire, slightly discolorous, glabrous to densely covered with short glandular hairs below; petiole 5–15 cm long; juvenile leaves often larger, to 35 cm long and 30 cm wide. Inflorescences branched, up to 15-flowered; peduncle 0.5–1 cm long. Flowers on pedicels 10–20 mm long; calyx 4–5 mm long, lobes broad triangular, 1–1.5 mm long; corolla deeply stellate, c. 20 mm diam., white to pale pink, darker in bud, scented, lobes narrow triangular or narrow-lanceolate; anthers 4–5 mm long, the connective broad and thick. Berry ovoid, 5–7 cm long, dark red; seeds 3.5–4 mm long, pale reddish-brown. Flowers throughout the year.

*GipP. Native to the Andes from Colombia south to Bolivia. Cultivated in Victoria as a novelty fruit and substitute for tomatoes and has become a garden escape at Kalimna near Lakes Entrance where it has been recorded near the margins of warm temperate rainforest.

Previously included in Cyphomandra which were distinguished from Solanum by enlarged anther connectives (Bohs 1995). This genus has been shown by phylogenetic analyses of DNA data to be a lineage within Solanum and were transferred to Solanum (Bohs 1995, 2005; Weese & Bohs 2007).

Created by: Daniel Ohlsen, 2016-05-17
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-06-18

Bohs, L. (1995). Transfer of Cyphomandra (Solanaceae) and Its Species to Solanum, Taxon 44(4): 583-587.

Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Asteranae
order Solanales
family Solanaceae
genus Solanum
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Solanum betaceum in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Solanum betaceum in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Gippsland Plain present introduced

State distribution

Distribution map
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory