PLANT: Perennial herbs, 10-15(-50) cm tall, pilose throughout, with stolons and tubers; tubers round to ellipsoid, white to purple, up to 3 cm long. LEAVES: alternate, pinnately compound, usually about 7.5-22 cm long, 3.5-8 cm wide, more or less pubescent on upper and lower surfaces; leaflets (3-)5-7(-9), mostly less than 2 times longer than wide, with younger leaflets sometimes purple beneath; most distal lateral leaflets (1.5-)2.5-6.5 cm long, (0.5-)1.5-2.7(-3.5) cm wide, ovate to elliptic, with apex acute to acuminate, with base cuneate to rounded-oblique, often decurrent on rachis; terminal leaflet usually much larger than laterals, (1.8-)3.5-7.5(-10) cm long, (1.5-)2.5-4.5(-7) cm wide, elliptic to obovate, with apex acute to acuminate, with base cuneate; small interstitial leaflets sometimes present between the larger ones; petioles 1.5-4 cm long. INFLORESCENCE: racemose or paniculate cymes, lateral or pseudoterminal, 3-26-flowered, ebracteate, usually densely pilose and sometimes sparsely glandular; peduncles 3.4-10 cm long. FLOWERS: actinomorphic (Fig. 3G); pedicles 1-3.5 cm long; calyx 4-7(-30) mm long, with lobes 1-2 times as long as tube, ovate-lanceolate to triangular-lanceolate, acute to long-attenuate; corolla pentagonal-rotate, blue, purple or white and purpletinged, ca. 1.8-3.3 cm in diam., with lobes 1.5-4 mm long, edges of corolla flat; stamens equal, 3-6 mm long; anthers 2-4 times longer than filaments; style as long as stamens, or exceeding them by up to 4 mm. FRUITS: 0.9-1.7 cm in diam., not invested in calyx, white to deep green, sometimes with darker green stripes and white spots; seeds ovate in outline, green-white, ca. 2 mm long. NOTES: Open coniferous forest: Apache, Cochise, s Coconino, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz cos. (Fig. 2G); 1950-2750 m (6500-9000 ft), occasionally lower; late Jul-early Oct; NM, TX, s to Oax., Mex. One of the most common, widespread, and polymorphic species of the wild potatoes. Arizona populations tend to be of shorter stature and have fewer interstitial leaflets than in the southern part of its range. Tubers have been reportedly used as a food source by some Native American tribes. REFERENCES: Scott T. Bates, Frank Farruggia, Edward Gilbert, Raul Gutierrez, Darin Jenke, Elizabeth Makings, Erin Manton, Douglas Newton, and Leslie R. Landrum. Vascular Plants of Arizona: Solanaceae Part Two: Key to the genera and Solanum. CANOTIA 5(1):1-16.
Bates et al. 2009, Kearney and Peebles 1969, McDougall 1973
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Low growing, herbaceous perennials, to 15(-50) cm tall, pilose throughout, with stolons or tubers, tubers white to purple, round to ellipsoid, not spiny. Leaves: Alternate, pubescent to somewhat glabrous, pinnately compound, leaflets ovate to elliptic, mostly less than 2 times longer than wide, the terminal leaflet usually much larger than the lateral leaflets, the younger leaves sometimes purple beneath and petioled. Flowers: Blue, purple, white, or purple-tinged, pentagonal-rotate, 5-parted, the lobes 1-2 times as long as the tube, Inflorescences lateral, solitary, or in racemose or paniculate cymes, stamens 5, inserted on the corolla tube, filaments short, anthers oblong. Fruits: Green to white or green with white spots, fruit not closely invested by the calyx. Seeds ovate, flattened, green to white, numerous. Ecology: Found in open coniferous forests from 6,500-9,000 ft (1981-2743 m); flowering July-October. Notes: The keys to this species are the purple flowers, the herbage not spiny, and the fruit not closely invested by the calyx. This species is common and widespread, and is morphologically variable. Synonyms: None Editor: LCrumbacher, 2011