Plant of the Month — October 2007

Solanum lasiophyllum Poir. — Flannel Bush

Find out more about Solanum lasiophyllum Poir.

Solanum lasiophyllum, October’s Plant of the Month, can be found on sandy or stony soils throughout the State except along the south coast and in regions north of Port Hedland. An erect, sometimes rounded shrub, it grows to about 1 metre high and bears flowers of purple and violet from April through to October, the flowers making a dramatic contrast with the silvery-grey leaves. On a background of red soil, this plant is outstanding.

Solanum lasiophyllum is a member of the Solanaceae family and as the name implies, is a family and genus that loves the sun. Pliny, the Latin historian, was the first to record the genus name of Solanum when he named the nightshade Solanum nigrum. This species, S. lasiophyllum, was named by the French clergyman and botanist, Jean Louis M. Poiret (1755–1834). The leaf description, lasiophyllum, comes from the Greek, lasios meaning shaggy or hairy (flannel-like) and phyllon, leaf; hence, hairy leaf.

Solanum lasiophyllum, with its contrast of deep purple on silver-grey, would create a dramatic effect in any garden. Search for this or like species in your local wildflower nursery to enhance a rockery or any sunny garden spot.

Photo: J. English

Find out more about Solanum lasiophyllum Poir.

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