Bulletin 5 - July 1978: Solanaceae (?)

Solanaceae (?)

by Pat Harris

"The woody nightshade (Solanun dulcamara) often forms prostrate forms on shingle with fleshy unlobed leaves very different from the more familiar types of the hedgerow and woodland." (1) "Widespread species, when growing by the sea, are frequently more fleshy than in their inland habitats, though, in many cases, it has not been tested whether these coastal forms are genetically distinct or are modifications which would return to normal if grown away from the sea. An example of an untested form is Solanun dulcamara var. marinum, a prostrate, fleshy type of woody nightshade, not uncommon on shingle along the south coast." (2) Both these quotes are taken from books on British Flora but they led me to wonder whether the specimens which were handed to me on 23.10.77. might be related to the species mentioned. These specimens were found near Umm an Nar on a shingle beach. The specimens tallied very closely with book descriptions of Solanaceae in all parts except the leaf. Does anyone have any ideas?

  1. C. T. Prime.  Plant Life. (Collins) p. 128
  2. J. Gilmour and M. Walters. Wild Flowers. (Collins) p. 201
  3. O. Polunin. Flowers of Europe (Oxford University Press) p. 371


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