New Functionally Dioecious Bush Tomato, Solanum ossicruentum, May Utilize “Trample Burr” Seed Dispersal.
A new Australian species of functionally dioecious bush tomato of Solanum subgenus Leptostemonum is described. Solanum ossicruentum Martine & J.Cantley, sp. nov., is thought to be allied with members of the problematic “Dioicum Complex” lineage, but differs in its short silvery indumentum, long calyx lobes, larger stature, and an unusual fruit morphology that may represent “trample burr” seed dispersal. The species occurs in a range extending from the eastern Kimberley in Western Australia to far northwestern Northern Territory and has been recognized for decades as a variant of S. dioicum W.Fitzg. Specimens of this species were previously referred to by D.E. Symon and others as Solanum dioicum ‘Tanami.’ Ex situ crossing studies and SEM images of inaperturate pollen grains produced in morphologically hermaphrodite flowers indicate that this taxon is functionally dioecious. The scientific name was chosen with the help of 150 seventh grade life science students from Pennsylvania, USA.
Martine, C.T., J.C. Cantley, E. Frawley, A. Butler, and I.E. Jordon-Thaden. 2016. New functionally dioecious bush tomato, Solanum ossicruentum, may utilize “trample burr” seed dispersal. PhytoKeys 63: 19-29.doi: 10.3897/phytokeys.63.7743