T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Solanum laciniatum (Poroporo)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Solanum
Species: S. laciniatum
Binomial name: Solanum laciniatum
Common name: Poroporo

All parts are toxic due to steroidal alkaloids, glucocides and solasodine alkaloids. This shrub is potentially toxic to sheep and cattle.

Solanum laciniatum is a perennial hairless shrub to 3 m high and is a common urban weed in many parts of the country. Solanum laciniatum is indigenous to the North, South, Stewart and Chatham Islands. It is also present in south eastern Australia and Tasmania. It is naturalised in parts of China and Russia. It is found usually in disturbed habitats, shrublands, gullies, riversides, forested margins and in reverting pasture. It often appears following fires. 
The stems are green to purple brown and often striped. They are round to polygonal in cross section with a ridge running down the stem from the base of the petiole. Surface is hairless with no prickles.
The leaves are 10-40 cm long, usually deeply dissected with up to 7 pointed lobes, although some remain unlobed. The trumpet shaped flowers are purple, in a long-stalked cluster, with each flower being 3-5 cm across with 5 notched petals. The conspicuous drooping sprays of berries are yellow to orange-yellow, succulent, egg-shaped and 10-18 mm across. The stems are hairless, often striped and round to polygonal with a ridge running down the stem from each leaf.
The purple-blue 5 lobed dished shaped flowers are up to 50cm wide and are on stalks 5-40 mm long.
The fruit is a yellow to orange egg shaped, succulent berry. 14-22 mm x 12-18 mm.
The seeds are a reddish brown are 2-2.5 mm long.





Young Solanum laciniatum plant



The Poroporo flower with native bee


The green berries of the Poroporo just turning yellow


Ripe fruit


Variation of leaf shapes.


The underside of a leaf.