Overview

Comprehensive Description

General Description

Herbs perennial, glabrous, 0.5-1.5 m tall. Roots obconic, thick, fleshy. Stems erect, green or reddish purple, terete, longitudinally grooved, fleshy, branched. Petiole 1.5-3 cm; leaf blade elliptic or lanceolate-elliptic, 10-30 cm long, 4.5-15 cm wide, papery, base cuneate, apex acuminate or sharply pointed. Racemes erect, terete, usually shorter than leaves, densely flowered; peduncle 1-4 cm. Pedicel 6-10 mm. Flowers bisexual, ca. 8 mm in diameter. Tepals 5, white or yellowish green, elliptic, ovate, or oblong, 3-4 mm long, ca. 2 mm broad, equal, after anthesis reflexed. Stamens 8-10, ca. as long as tepals; filaments persistent, white, subulate, base broad; anthers pink, elliptic. Carpels usually 8, distinct. Styles erect, short, apex curved. Infructescence erect. Berry purplish black when mature, oblate, ca. 7 mm in diameter. Seeds reniform, ca. 3 mm, 3-angulate, smooth.
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Distribution

Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Jiangsu, Liaoning, Shaanxi, Shandong, Sichuan, Taiwan, Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Bhutan, India, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Sikkim, Vietnam].
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introduced; Wis.; Asia.
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Phytolacca acinosa is Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Jiangsu, Liaoning, Shaanxi, Shandong, Sichuan, Taiwan, Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang of China, Bhutan, India, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Sikkim, Vietnam.
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Himalaya (Kashmir to NEFA), Assam, Laos, W. China.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Elevation Range

2200-3200 m
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Description

Herbs perennial, glabrous, 0.5-1.5 m tall. Roots obconic, thick, fleshy. Stems erect, green or reddish purple, terete, longitudinally grooved, fleshy, branched. Petiole 1.5-3 cm; leaf blade elliptic or lanceolate-elliptic, 10-30 × 4.5-15 cm, papery, base cuneate, apex acuminate or sharply pointed. Racemes erect, terete, usually shorter than leaves, densely flowered; peduncle 1-4 cm. Pedicel 6-10(-13) mm. Flowers bisexual, ca. 8 mm in diam. Tepals 5, white or yellowish green, elliptic, ovate, or oblong, 3-4 × ca. 2 mm, equal, after anthesis reflexed. Stamens 8-10, ca. as long as tepals; filaments persistent, white, subulate, base broad; anthers pink, elliptic. Carpels usually 8, distinct. Styles erect, short, apex curved. Infructescence erect. Berry purplish black when mature, oblate, ca. 7 mm in diam. Seeds reniform, ca. 3 mm, 3-angulate, smooth. Fl. May-Aug, fr. Jun-Oct. 2n = 18, 36*, 72.
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Description

Plants to 1.5(-3) m. Leaves: petiole 1-7 cm, sometimes obscure; blade elliptic, often broadly so, to lanceolate-elliptic, to 35 × 19 cm, base cuneate, apex acuminate. Racemes dense, erect at least in flower and young fruit, 5-30 cm; peduncle to 5 cm; pedicel 6-13 mm, sometimes obscure. Flowers: sepals 5, white or greenish white, elliptic to oblong, equal to subequal, 3-4 mm; stamens 7-10, in 1 whorl; carpels 7-8, distinct. Achenes black, 4 mm, smooth to somewhat rugose; pericarp firmly adherent to seed.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Phytolacca esculenta Van Houtte; P. pekinensis Hance.
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Phytolacca acinosa is close relative of Phytolacca polyandra, but differs from the latter in its distinct (vs. connate) carpels, 8-10 (vs. 12-16) stamens, green or white (vs. pink) carpels.
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Ecology

Habitat

Woods; 300m.
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Valleys, hillsides, forest understories, forest margins, roadsides, cultivated beside houses, moist fertile lands, or a weed; 500-3400 m.
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Growing in valleys, hillsides, forest understories, forest margins, roadsides, cultivated beside houses, moist fertile lands, or a weed; 500-3400 m.
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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering summer-fall.
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Flowering from May to August; fruiting from June to October.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Genetics

The chromosomal number of Phytolacca acinosa 2n = 36, 72 (Ge et al., 1988; Kabu et al., 1989).
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Conservation

Management

These species are introduced in Switzerland.
  • Aeschimann, D. & C. Heitz. 2005. Synonymie-Index der Schweizer Flora und der angrenzenden Gebiete (SISF). 2te Auflage. Documenta Floristicae Helvetiae N° 2. Genève.   http://www.crsf.ch/ External link.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Uses

Phytolacca acinosa was used medicinally.
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Notes

Comments

The only collections of Phytolacca acinosa we have seen from the flora are those made by Hugh H. Iltis and others at Olin Park in Madison, Wisconsin (WISC; three collections, the earliest 1971, the latest 1986, photographs 1996). The plants were reported to be scattered to abundant, with many seedlings or young plants of all sizes, and were found in deep shade in a deciduous forest where the species had persisted for about 25 years. 

 J. W. Nowicke (1968) referred to the one-seeded fruits of Phytolacca acinosa as drupelets.

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Comments

This species is used medicinally.
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