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Phytolacca decandra

(Poke root)

Common Names

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Common Names in English:

Poke root


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Genus Phytolacca

Herbs [shrubs or trees ], perennial . Leaves alternate. Inflorescences axillary , terminal , or leaf-opposed racemes or spikes, 5-100-flowered, proximalmost pedicels sometimes bearing more than 1 flower. Flowers: sepals 5-8; stamens (7-) 8-25(-30), sometimes in 1-2 whorls; carpels 6-12(-30), distinct or connate at least proximally; if connate, ovary 6-12-loculed; style and stigma 1 per carpel. Fruits either oblate berries , style persisting in ring at apex, or group of lenticular achenes. Seeds 6-12(-30) per berry or 1 per achene.

Species ca. 25: North America, Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America, Eurasia , Africa, Pacific Islands, Australia.[1]


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Publishing author : L. Publication : Sp. Pl., ed. 2. 1: 631 1762 [Sep 1762]

Similar Species

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Members of the genus Phytolacca

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 19 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:

P. americana (American Pokeweed) · P. americana var. americana (American Pokeweed) · P. americana var. lancifolia (Virginia Poke) · P. americana var. rigida (American Pokeweed) · P. americana 'Silberstein' (Speckled Poke) · P. americana 'Variegata' (Variegated American Pokeweed) · P. bogotensis (Pokeweed) · P. clavigera (Pokeweed) · P. decandra (Poke Root) · P. decandra var. americana (Pokeweeds) · P. dioica (Beautiful Shade) · P. dioica x weberbaueri (Ombu Tree) · P. dodecandra (Pokeweed) · P. heteropetala (Mexican Pokeweed) · P. icosandra (Phytolacca) · P. octandra (Himalayan Pokeweed) · P. polyandra (Batal) · P. rivinoides (Venezuelan Pokeweed) · P. sandwicensis (Hawai'i Pokeweed)

More Info

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Further Reading

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  1. "Phytolacca". in Flora of North America Vol. 4 Page 3, 4, 6. Oxford University Press. Online at [back]
Last Revised: 2/5/2015