Data set of specimens used in the publication: Knapp, S., E. Sagona, A.K.Z. Carbonell and F. Chiarini (2017) A revision of the Solanum elaeagnifolium clade (Elaeagnifolium clade; subgenus Leptostemonum, Solanaceae). PhytoKeys, in press.
The Solanum elaeagnifolium clade (Elaeagnifolium clade) contains five species of small, often rhizomatous, shrubs from deserts and dry forests in North and South America. Members of the clade were previously classified in sections Leprophora, Nycterium and Lathyrocarpum, and were not thought to be closely related. The group is sister to the species-rich monophyletic Old World clade of spiny solanums. The species of the group have an amphitropical distribution, with three species in Mexico and the southwestern United States and three species in Argentina. Solanum elaeagnifolium occurs in both North and South America, and is a noxious invasive weed in dry areas worldwide. Members of the group are highly variable morphologically, and this variability has led to much synonymy, particularly in the widespread S. elaeagnifolium. We here review the taxonomic history, morphology, relationships and ecology of these species and provide keys for their identification, descriptions, full synonymy (including designations of lectotypes) and nomenclatural notes. Illustrations, distribution maps and preliminary conservation assessments are provided for all species.