Ombú

Phytolacca dioica

Bella Sombra, Bella Umbra, Ombu, Ombu Tree, South American Umbra Tree, Tree Poke, Elephant Tree

profile iconPhytolacca dioica fruits
by RuB (CC BY-SA 3.0)
1 of 6
A close up of a Phytolacca dioica tree with green foliage and yellow fruits
profile iconPhytolacca dioica fruits
by RuB (CC BY-SA 3.0)
1 of 6
Phytolacca dioica is a large, spreading deciduous species in the Phytolaccaceae family. Originating from South America, this large plant produces a wide canopy and may have multiple trunks growing from a large base, it can reach 15m in spread and 18m in height! Leaves are large, oval to lance-shaped and attractively veined, flowers are small and white in colour, leading onto yellow fruits. This plant is particularly interesting because it is unique in its genus. The other species in Phytolacca are entirely herbaceous plants, this large tree doesn't produce true wood but rather the woodiness is a result of a process known as secondary thickening. This results in a fast-growing tree, with soft and spongy wood in comparison to typical trees. Due to this softness, this plant is a popular choice for applying bonsai techniques to as the wood is malleable and easy to train. Invasive status varies by location, this plant is classed as a minor invasive species in South Africa. In other areas such as regions of South America, it is grown as a ornamental or shade tree.
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Related Plants

Planning

Flowering time

Summer, Autumn

Fruiting time

Autumn

Propagation

Seed

Sow seed in spring.

Special features

Attractive flowers

Attractive leaves

Attractive fruits

Special features

Origin

South America

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Frost hardiness

Hardy

Personality

Family

Phytolaccaceae

Flower colour

White
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Knowledge and advice

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