Solanum watneyi, a new bush tomato species from the Northern Territory, Australia named for Mark Watney of the book and film “The Martian”
A new species of andromonoecious Solanum from the Australian “bush tomato clade” ofSolanum subgenus Leptostemonum is described. Solanum watneyi Martine & Frawley, sp. nov. is closely allied with S. eburneum, and is sympatric with it in parts of its range in the Northern Territory. The new species has been recognized as a variant of S. eburneum for decades, at times being referred to by local botanists as Solanum sp. “Bullita” because of its relative abundance in the vicinity of the Bullita Station area of Judbarra/Gregory National Park. Morphometric analyses show that S. watneyi differs statistically from S.eburneum in several key reproductive and vegetative characters and field observations suggest that the two sister species may represent a case of edaphic speciation. We provide morphometric evidence for the novelty of S. watneyi, a complete description, and cite specimens for both species.
Martine CT, Frawley ES, Cantley JT, Jordon-Thaden IE (2016) Solanum watneyi, a new bush tomato species from the Northern Territory, Australia named for Mark Watney of the book and film “The Martian”. PhytoKeys 61: 1-13. doi: 10.3897/phytokeys.61.6995