Jaltomata aspera (R. & P.) Mione

revised 21 July 2016  
The information on this page may be cited as a communication with
professor Thomas Mione, Central Connecticut State University, Biology Department, Copernicus Hall, 1615 Stanley Street, New Britain, CT 06050-4010 USA, and
Segundo Leiva G., Universidad Privada Antenor Orrego, Av. América Sur 3145, Casilla postal 1075, Trujillo, Peru
Novon 2: 383-384. 1992.
Link to Jaltomata homepage
Links to Jaltomata species having edible fruit
including this species, and to local names including for this species
Link to the Jaltomata of the Peruvian lomas formations
Links to the Jaltomata species of Department Lima and Department Ancash
Figure 1, above. Flower of Jaltomata aspera. Peru, Department Lima (S. Leiva G., R. Olmstead & N. Refulio 4545, photo by Segundo Leiva G.)
Figure 2, above. Peru, Department Lima (S. Leiva G. et al 4545, photo by Segundo Leiva G.)
Figure 3, above. S. Leiva G. et al. 4545, photo by Segundo Leiva G.
Figure 4, above. This photo was generously provided by Dr. Graciela Vilcapoma S. and Arturo Granda P. (Vilcapoma S. & Granda P. 4326)
Figure 5, above. Note how the style is widest at base and gradually narrows from proximal to distal, and how the stigma is punctiform (about as wide as the distal end of the style). Anthers are undehisced. The corona is evident in this photo (a bowl of tissue on which nectar pools). Mione, Leiva & Yacher 615 after flowers were stored in 70% ethanol for a few years, photo by T. Mione
Figure 6, above. Anther and distal portion of filament of Jaltomata aspera. Unlike other Jaltomata species more of the filament shows in dorsal view (right) than in ventral view (left). Left: ventral view of anther (view from style); right: dorsal view (back of anther); units vertically along right are mm, flowers were stored in 70% ethanol then photographed by Thomas Mione; Mione, Leiva & Yacher 615. Figure 7, above. One anther was removed to show the corona (bowl of tissue on which nectar pools). At the center of the photo is the ovary of the flower, below the style.
(Mione, Leiva & Yacher 615
after flowers were stored in 70% ethanol for a few years, photos by Thomas Mione)


Character Description Figures on this page
Habit & Height
This species was described as herbaceous in its protologue, but has also been described as suffrutescent (in the protologue of Saracha lacrima-virginis and on a specimen label [Vilcapoma 2950 There appears to be no correlation between herbaceous/suffrutescent and lomas vs. Andes. 20 - 58 cm  
Branches, young
pubescent, the hairs short, rigid, glandless figures 1
Leaves, size
hairs pubescent to glabrate, the hairs short, rigid, glandless
Flowers almost always solitary figure
Pedicels articulated (one can see both a pedicel and a peduncle);
Calyx at flowering
green, nearly planar figure
at fruit maturity   figure
Corolla color
greenish-yellow or yellow-green, lacking 5 pairs of maculae figure
shape and size
very broadly campanulate, to 42 mm across figure
5-lobed (no lobules, notch at lobule's location) figure
Stamen length
12 - 14 mm
filaments glabrous except for base, the base pubesent  
anther color    
anther size 3.5 - 4.5 mm figure
anther mucronate/mucronulate not mucronate  
insertion of filament into anther Basifixed (not lower ventral face).
Filament shows when looking at back of anther (this species is an exception to the norm: nearly all Jaltomata species show more of the filament in the ventral view of anther).
anthers of a flower open simultaneously?    
pollen quantity per flower 1,300,000
Mione et al. 615, count by Emmett P. Varricchio, flower collected in Peru; the count from 1 anther was multiplied by 5, thus this datum was collected in a manner different from the pollen quantity data of other Jaltomata species in this web site
pollen grain size µm,
corona Yes figures 1
punctiform figure
widest at base and gradually narrowing toward apex, 6.5 - 8 mm long in lomas, 9.5 - 12 mm long in Andes.  
Ovules per ovary
red figure
Herkogamy yes, see figure 1 figure
no data
Fruit color (at maturity)

white (
Macbride 1962); orange (Granda 926)
fruit size    
Seeds per fruit
Seed Size
Chromosome number
no data
Growability in Connecticut, USA
How long does it take from flower to ripe fruit?
no data
no data
Seed Germination
Character Description of Jaltomata aspera  

Should The Low Elevation and Higher Elevation Populations Be Considered Distinct Species?

Low elevation populations grow below 600 m of elevation, while high elevation populations grow above 1,380 m of elevation. The low elevation and the high elevation populations of J. aspera flower at different times of the year, and so are reproductively isolated. And, the Andean (higher elevation) plants may have longer styles.

If the low elevation and high elevation populations are considered distinct species Saracha urbaniana would be transferred to Jaltomata as J. urbaniana (Bitter & Dammer). The higher elevation specimens would then all go by this name. And the low elevation (lomas) specimens would continue to be known as J. aspera.

According to Arturo Granda Paucar (personal communication, year 2001) this phenomenon, low elevation (lomas) and high elevation populations being considered conspecific, is found in "several species of different families: Hyptis sidifolia (Lamiaceae) grows and blooms with the higher population of J. aspera in the vicinity of Cata, but also is found in Lomas formation along with the lower population of J. aspera. Another example is Ipomoea nationis (Convolvulaceae)...with similar blooming time."


Similar Species
The three species of section Modillonia are herbaceous, have solitary flowers, a 5-lobed corolla, a corona (figure 7 of this webpage), lack radial thickenings, have basifixed anthers (other species of this genus have the filament inserted into the lower ventral face of the anther), a stigma about as wide as the top of the style (stigma punctiform, not capitate), grow in Peru and produce copious red-orange nectar. A table comparing the species of Jaltomata section Modillonia can be seen on the J. quipuscoae webpage.


Geographic Distribution of Jaltomata aspera

Peru, Department Lima.

In the lomas formation: Elevation 152 to 600 m, flowering September, October & November.

In the Andes: Elevation 1,580 - 2,550 m, flowering March through early May, and one specimen was flowering in January during an El Niño event.


Department Province Locality elevation m habitat date collector
Lima Lima

TYPE: Hills of Lima Amancaes.

Amancaes (figures 16 - 19) is located at 12 01' 00" S, 77 02' 00" W

These hills are under 500 m from labels of conspecific collections made in these hills (elevation not mentioned in protologue) Amancaes is loma-formation (not mentioned in protologue) "flowering in Oct and Nov" is stated in protologue, so collections were almost certainly made during these months Ruíz López & Pavón s.n. (not seen, Mione corresponded with MA in 1998 and they replied "not found in our collections")
Lima Lima type of Saracha lacrima-virginis, Amancaes
loma-formation, rocky area 19 Oct 1902 Weberbauer 1587
Lima Lima Amancaes
loma-formation Sep 1909 Weberbauer 5246a (F, US)
Lima Lima near Lima
no data
presumably Lomas 1862 W. Nation s. n. (K)
Lima Lima Hills of Mongomarca
Loma-Formation Sep 1909 Weberbauer 5235 (US)
Lima Lima type of Saracha ciliata Miers, valley of Lima
no data
presumably lomas looks like "July & Aug" on type specimen label Mathews 834 (K)
Lima Lima San Geronimo
rocky hillside 19 Sept 1923 J. F. Macbride 5912 (F)
Lima Lima Lima
no data
no data Sep 1932 D. Stafford K.35 (K)
Lima Lima Amancaes 300 loma-formation 25 Aug 1946 J. Soukup 3124 (US)
Lima Lima Amancaes 300 - 600 loma-formation 6 Sep 1950 C. Vargas C. 9649 (CUZ)
Lima Cañete Lomas de Asia
no data
no data 14 October 1995 G. Vilcapoma S. and A. Granda P. 4326 (Mione has seen photo but not herbarium specimen)
Lima Canta Arriba de Apán, camino a Puruchuco
monte caducifolio con veg. herbácea 21 Mar 1994 G. Vilcapoma S. 2950 (MOL)
Lima Canta Apán, camino a Puruchuco
ladera pedregosa con monte caducifolio 26 Mar 1993 Granda 926
Lima Canta Apán, camino a Puruchuco
ladera pedregosa con monte caducifolio 2 Apr 1994 A. Granda & J. Alegría 1254
Lima Huarochirí km 73 of highway from Lima to La Oroya
open sun, slope, with Carica candicans, Lycianthes sp., and Schinus molle; terreno xerofitico, arenos 17 Jan 1998 T. Mione, S. Leiva G. & L. Yacher 615
S. Leiva G., T. Mione, & L. Yacher 2130
Lima Huarochirí Santa Eulalia-Callahuanca
no data 14 Mar 2009 S. Leiva G., R. Olmstead & N. Refulio 4545 (HAO)
Lima Huarochirí valley of Rio Rimac, near Lima-Oroya, highway at km 70 east of Lima
dry open hillside, granite soil, with cacti 15-22 Mar 1942 Goodspeed & Metcalf 30248 (MO, US)
Lima Huarochirí type of Saracha urbaniana, above San Bartolomé (Lima to Oroya R. R.)
rocky slopes with not very dense xerophytic vegetation mainly cacti and shrubs that are green when it rains 27 Mar 1910 A. Weberbauer 5262 (US)(photo NY)


Excerpt from The Journals of Hipólito Ruiz, Spanish Botanist in Peru and Chile 1777 - 1788, Timber Press, 1998
"We all remained in Lima until the 19th of December [1781], drying and describing the plants collected on the way from Huaura to Lima, and describing those I found on the outskirts of the capital in gardens and orchards. Among these, I described the following.
Jaltomata aspera (as Atropa aspera, page 194) ..."



Jaltomata aspera (Ruiz & Pavón) Mione. Basionym: Atropa aspera Ruiz and Pavón, Flora Peruviana, et chilensis 2: 45. 1799. Ulticona aspera (Ruiz & Pavón) Raf., Sylva Telluriana 55. 1838. Hebecladus asperus (Ruiz & Pavón) Miers, London J. Bot. 4: 322. 1845.

ciliata Miers, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 2, 3: 446. 1849.

lacrima-virginis Bitter, Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 17: 341. 1921.

urbaniana Bitter & Dammer, Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 17: 342. 1921. Weberbauer 5262 = 5305 according to label on photospecimen at WIS.


Figure 8, above. Unripe fruit (Peru, Department Lima, S. Leiva G., R. Olmstead & N. Refulio 4545, photo by Segundo Leiva G.)
Figure 9, above. The type locality of Jaltomata aspera is Amancaes, Hills of Lima. This is Amancaes in February of 2014. Photo by Leon Yacher.
Figure 10, above. The type locality of Jaltomata aspera is Amancaes, Hills of Lima. This is Amancaes or near Amancaes in February of 2014.
Photo by Leon Yacher.
Figure 11, above. The type locality of Jaltomata aspera is Amancaes, Hills of Lima. This is Amancaes in February of 2014. Photo by Leon Yacher.
Figure 12. The type locality of Jaltomata aspera is Amancaes, Hills of Lima. This is Amancaes in February of 2014. Photo by Leon Yacher.