Pokeweed

Phytolacca spp.

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Phytolacca dioica flowers by Tatiana Gerus (CC BY 2.0)
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Phytolacca dioica flowers by Tatiana Gerus (CC BY 2.0)
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Phytolacca is a genus containing 24 species of herbaceous perennials or deciduous or evergreen shrubs and trees in the Phytolaccoideae family, native to North America, South America and East Asia. They have simple, pointed alternate leaves sometimes with crinkled margins, coloured stems, erect or drooping long spikes of small greenish flowers followed by small spherical fruits that start green, ripening through red, purple and finally turning black. Commonly known as Pokeweed, some species are cultivated as garden plants, especially herbaceous and deciduous varieties for their autumn colour as well as for the flowers and decorative berries.

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Phytolaccaceae