Perennial herb, 10–30(50) cm tall, glabrous to pilose and somewhat glandular, with rhizomes bearing tubers about (5)10–15(20) mm in diameter LEAVES: odd-pinnate, alternate, 7–15cm long, 4-9 cm wide; upper surface glabrous or nearly so; lower surface with short glandular pubescence; leaflets (5)7–9(13), linear-oblong to lanceolate, (0.5)2.5–5.0(6.0) cm long, 0.5–2.5(3.0) cm wide, usually 2-3x longer than wide, lanceolate to elliptic-lanceolate, lower most leaflets much reduced, rarely with small interstitial leaflets interposed between the larger ones; petioles up to 3cm long. INFLORESCENCE: lateral or pseudoterminal on leafy branches, few to several-flowered, ebracteate, paniculate cyme; peduncle 1-6 cm; pedicels 1–3 cm long. FLOWERS: 5-merous, bisexual, actinomorphic; calyx enlarged somewhat but not investing the fruit, up to 6 mm long, irregularly lobed to about the middle; lobes triangular-ovate to lanceolate, acute to acuminate; corolla white, 2.8-3.5 cm in diameter, stellate, lobed for one-third or more to base; lobes 8–16 mm long, ovate-lanceolate to triangular-laneolate, subobtuse to subacuminate, pubescent above middle on lobe tips; anthers yellow, lanceolate in outline, 4.5–7.0 mm long; filaments 1–4 mm long; style 10-14 mm long, much exceeding the stamens; stigma globose. FRUIT: spherical berries, slightly less than 1 cm in diameter, green throughout. n = 12. [Solanum jamesii var. heterotrichium Bitter, Solanum jamesii var. sinclairii Bitter & Correvon, Solanum jamesii subsp. septentrionale Bitter] –– grasslands, juniper-pinyon scrub deserts, oak thickets, coniferous and deciduous forests; mid July to early Oct; Apache, Cochise, Coconino, Greenlee, Mohave, Navajo, Pima, Santa Cruz, Yavapi cos. (Fig X); 1500–2600 m (5000–8500 ft). AZ, CO, TX, UT, and n Mex.
A close relative to the cultivated potato; tubers have been reportedly used as a food source by some Native American tribes. This plant is highly variable and has been separated into several varieties by some authors. This treatment considers the complex to be a single variable species. 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