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Solanum ruvu

A rare, African spiny aubergine, Solanum ruvu has been collected only once and is now likely to be extinct in the wild.
Detail of Solanum ruvu specimen

Detail of Solanum ruvu specimen collected by B. Mhoro and the Frontier-Tanzania Programme in the Ruvu Forest Reserve. This is the only collection known of this species, and one of the only two herbarium specimens known.

Species information

Scientific name: 

Solanum ruvu Voronts.

Conservation status: 

The preliminary assessment is Extinct (EX, IUCN, 2001). Efforts have been made to re-collect this species but failure to find it again and documented severe habitat destruction indicates that there is a high probability that it is now extinct.


Most likely wet coastal forest understorey, at about 100-300 metres above sea level.

Key Uses: 

None known.

Known hazards: 

None known.


Genus: Solanum

About this species

This rare species has been collected only once, as part of a general survey in 2000. By the time it was identified as a new species by Kew botanist Maria Vorontsova in 2010, its native forest had already been destroyed. An expedition in 2010 tried to re-collect it but the plant was not found and is now most likely extinct.

The story of Solanum ruvu highlights the way in which the destruction of Tanzania’s coastal forests has impacted on biological diversity.


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