Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

Trees, shrubs or herbs. Inflorescences terminal or leaf-opposed racemes (in ours). Flowers bisexual or unisexual. Sepals free, subequal, sometimes reflexed. Fruit of 4-many free or connate carpels, fleshy, ± spherical.
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Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
Specimen Records: 57
Specimens with Sequences: 64
Specimens with Barcodes: 58
Species: 7
Species With Barcodes: 4
Public Records: 25
Public Species: 3
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Barcode data

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Wikipedia

Phytolacca

This article is about a genus of plants many of which are called pokeweeds. For American Pokeweed, see Phytolacca americana.
Not to be confused with Veratrum viride, also called Indian poke

Phytolacca is a genus of perennial plants native to North America, South America, East Asia and New Zealand. Some members of the genus are known as pokeweeds or similar names such as pokebush, pokeberry, pokeroot or poke sallet.[2][3][4] Other names for species of Phytolacca include inkberry and ombú. The generic name is derived from the Greek word φυτόν (phyton), meaning "plant," and the Latin word lacca, a red dye.[5] Phytolaccatoxin and phytolaccigenin are present in many species which are poisonous to mammals if not cooked properly. However, the berries are eaten by birds, which are not affected by the toxin because the small seeds with very hard outer shells remain intact in the digestive system and are eliminated whole.[citation needed]

The genus comprises about 25 to 35 species of perennial herbs, shrubs, and trees growing from 1 to 25 m (3.3 to 82.0 ft) tall. They have alternate simple leaves, pointed at the end, with entire or crinkled margins; the leaves can be either deciduous or evergreen. The stems are green, pink or red. The flowers are greenish-white to pink, produced in long racemes at the ends of the stems. They develop into globose berries 4–12 mm diameter, green at first, ripening dark purple to black.[6][7][8]

Selected species[edit]

Although many species are herbaceous, P. dioica forms a substantial tree

The following species are accepted by one or more regional floras:[6][7][8][9][10][11]

Formerly placed here[edit]

Ecology[edit]

The Ombú Phytolacca dioica grows as a tree on the pampas of South America and is one of the few providers of shade on the open grassland. It is a symbol of Uruguay, Argentina and gaucho culture. P. weberbaueri from Peru also grows to tree size. Both species have massively buttressed bases to their trunks, and very soft wood with a high water storage capacity which makes them resistant to grass fires and drought.[12]

Uses[edit]

Phytolacca americana (American pokeweed, pokeweed, poke) is used as a folk medicine and as food, although all parts of it must be considered toxic unless, as folk recipes claim, it is "properly prepared." The root is never eaten and cannot be made edible.[13] Poke salad ('poke salat') is considered part of traditional southern U.S. cuisine, where it is cooked three times in three changes of boiling water to remove some of the harmful components.[14] Toxic constituents which have been identified include the alkaloids phytolaccine and phytolaccotoxin, as well as a glycoprotein.[15]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Genus: Phytolacca L.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 1996-09-17. Retrieved 2011-02-03. 
  2. ^ http://www.harlanfestivals.com/poke_sallet.htm Annual Poke Sallet Festival, Harlan, KY
  3. ^ http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=poke%20sallet Term: Poke Sallet
  4. ^ Ed Dinger "Allen Canning Company". International Directory of Company Histories. FindArticles.com. 15 Apr, 2011. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_gx5202/is_2005/ai_n19123469/
  5. ^ Quattrocchi, Umberto (2000). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names. 3 M-Q. CRC Press. p. 2065. ISBN 978-0-8493-2677-6. 
  6. ^ a b Flora of China: Phytolacca
  7. ^ a b Flora of North America: Phytolacca
  8. ^ a b MacBride, J. F. (1937). Flora of Peru. Publications of Field Museum of Natural History, Botanical Series. Volume XIII Part II pp. 553–556. University of Illinois. Full text
  9. ^ a b c "GRIN Species Records of Phytolacca". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2011-02-03. 
  10. ^ a b c Reiche, K. (undated). Flora de Chile Volume 6 pp. 143–145. Full text
  11. ^ Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Madagascar: Phytolacca
  12. ^ Armstrong, Wayne. "Pokeweed: An Interesting American Vegetable". Retrieved 2007-07-21. 
  13. ^ Iowa Cooperative Extension Service publication Pm-746 "POKEWEED"
  14. ^ Adams, Allison. "A Mess of Poke". Retrieved 2011-10-17. 
  15. ^ "Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System". Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
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