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John W. Thieret, final revision by Thomas J. Rosatti

[Annual to] perennial herb [to tree], generally ± glabrous. Leaf: alternate, simple, entire, generally petioled; stipules 0 or vestigial. Inflorescence: spike, raceme [panicle], [axillary or] terminal (then often lateral, ± opposite a leaf, by growth of bud axillary to that leaf); bract 1; bractlets 2. Flower: generally bisexual, radial; sepals [4]5[10], fused at base, generally persistent; petals 0; stamens 4–many, generally on disk, free or fused at base, in 1–2 whorls or not; carpels generally 1–12, [free] to fused, ovary generally superior, carpels = styles, chambers in number, ovules 1 per chamber, stigmas linear or thread-like. Fruit: berry [achene, capsule, drupe, nut, samara].
± 18 genera, 130 species: ± worldwide, especially America tropics, subtropics. [Rogers 1985 J Arnold Arbor 66:1–37] A broad family concept adopted here, as many as 6 segregate families sometimes recognized by others. —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.

Perennial herb [to tree]; axes often ± red to purple. Flower: sepals 5[8], petal-like; stamens generally 5–30; carpels 5–12, ± fused. Fruit: berry, chambers 5–12. Seed: 1 per chamber.
± 25 species: tropics, subtropics, especially America. (Greek, Latin: plant, crimson dye, from fruit color)

Key to Phytolacca

Plant to 3 m. Leaf: blade < 30 cm, 15 cm wide, elliptic to obovate (lanceolate); petiole 0.5–6 cm. Inflorescence: spike or spike-like, < 30 cm; peduncle < 10 cm; pedicel 0 or 0.5–2(4) mm. Flower: sepals equal, < 3 mm, broadly elliptic, white or pink to pale ± red; stamens (8)10–22(30), generally in 2 whorls; carpels generally 6–10, fused. Fruit: 7–8 mm diam, purple-black. Seed: 2.5–3 mm, thickly lenticular, black, shiny.
Disturbed areas, chrome ore piles; 10–400 m. South Coast (San Diego Co.), Peninsular Ranges (Otay Mtn); Arizona, Maryland; northern Mexico to northern South America. Some authors including Phytolacca octandra L. Summer–winter [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 27 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Phytolacca, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 27 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Phytolacca icosandra Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.