Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Phytolacca icosandra

Higher Taxonomy
Family: PhytolaccaceaeView Description 
Habit: [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].
Genera In Family: +- 18 genera, 130 species: +- worldwide, especially American tropics, subtropics. Note: A broad family concept adopted here, as many as 6 segregate families sometimes recognized by others.
eFlora Treatment Author: John W. Thieret, final revision by Thomas J. Rosatti
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: PhytolaccaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: 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.
Etymology: (Greek, Latin: plant, crimson dye, from fruit color)
Phytolacca icosandra L.
Habit: 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.
Ecology: Disturbed areas, chrome ore piles; Elevation: 10--400 m. Bioregional Distribution: SCo (San Diego Co.), PR (Otay Mtn); Distribution Outside California: Arizona, Maryland; northern Mexico to northern South America. Flowering Time: Summer--winter Note: Some authors including Phytolacca octandra L.
Jepson eFlora Author: John W. Thieret, final revision by Thomas J. Rosatti
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Citation for this treatment: John W. Thieret, final revision by Thomas J. Rosatti 2012, Phytolacca icosandra, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 15, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 15, 2024.

No expert verified images found for Phytolacca icosandra.

Geographic subdivisions for Phytolacca icosandra:
SCo (San Diego Co.), PR (Otay Mtn)
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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).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
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All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).