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Solanum wrightii


Solanum wrightii Benth.

Family Name: Solanaceae
Synonyms: Solanum macranthum, Solanum maroniense, Solanum grandiflorum
Common Name: Potato Tree, Brazilian Potato Tree, 大花茄


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Small (6m-15m), Shrubby (1m-5m)), Shrub
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular
Maximum Height 4.5 m to 9 m
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 4.5 m


Native Distribution Brazil, Bolivia
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal

Description and Ethnobotany

Others - Plant Morphology Growth Form: Evergreen shrub or tree Trunk: Trunk has light grey, fissured bark and bears sharp, curved thorns. Herbaceous branch tips are pubescent (covered in soft hairs). Foliage: Deeply lobed, hairy leaves are broadly ovate and have wavy leaf margin (30 cm long, 15 - 20 cm wide). There are long, straight thorns on the bottom side of the midrib and petiole. Flowers: Five-lobed, star-shaped flowers (6.5 - 7.5 cm wide) have long, bright yellow anthers which are pollen-bearing structures. Petals are initially dark purple, but fade to light purple and then white over several days. Bisexual or male flowers occur in small tri-coloured clusters known as racemes. Fruits: Round, fleshy fruits are known as berries (3 - 4 cm wide). Landscaping: This species is planted for its large, colourful flowers which are produced throughout the year. It is best planted alone as a specimen plant. Although normally planted in the ground, it will grow well in large containers placed on a sunny patio. Cultivation: This species grows and flowers best in full sun, but it can also tolerate light shade. It should be planted in fertile, well-draining soil enriched with compost. Apply mulch to the base of the plant to conserve soil moisture. This species has a dense, irregular crown which should be thinned with selective pruning to prevent the tree from leaning. Use formative pruning to produce a more pleasing crown shape. Propagation: Propagate by seed, stem cuttings or air layering. Etymology: The species epithet "wrightii" was named after American botanist Charles Wright (1811 - 1885).

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Foliage, Fragrant (Flowers) (Day)
Landscape Uses Container Planting, General, Focal Plant
Thematic Landscaping Fragrant / Aromatherapy Garden
Usage Hazard - Cons Spines/Thorns - Stem/Branch, Spines/Thorns - Trunk, Spines/Thorns - Leaf

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting, Air-Layering


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Hairy / Hirsute, Spiny / Bristly / Stinging
Foliar Modification Prickle / Emergence (blade)
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire - Wavy / Undulate
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Rounded / Obtuse
Typical Foliar Area Macrophyll ( 182.25cm2 - 1640.25 cm2 )
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.0 (Tree - Intermediate Canopy)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Trunk Type (Non Palm) Woody
Bark Colour(s) Light grey
Mature Bark Texture Fissured
Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground (Tap Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Purple, White
Flower Symmetry Radial
Individual Flower Shape Stellate / Star-shaped
Flower Size - Remarks 6.5 - 7.5 cm wide
Inflorescence Type Raceme
Flowering Period Free-Flowering
Flower Lifespan on Plant Several Days
Flowering Habit Polycarpic
Inflorescence Size Remarks Purple --> Light Purple --> White

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Yellow / Golden
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Fleshy Fruit , Berry

Image Repository



Master ID 1838
Species ID 3131
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 15 February 2022.