Overview

Distribution

introduced; Ariz., Calif., Md.; Mexico; West Indies; Central America; South America.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Plants to 3 m. Leaves: petiole 0.5-6 cm; blade elliptic to obovate or rarely lanceolate, to 30 × 15 cm, base obtuse to attenuate, apex acute. Inflorescences spikes or spikelike, surpassing subtending leaves, to 30 cm; peduncle to 10 cm; pedicel 0.5-2 mm. Flowers: sepals 5, white or pink to pale reddish, broadly elliptic, equal, to 3 × 2 mm; stamens (8-)10-22(-30), usually in 2 whorls; carpels mostly 6-10, connate; ovary 6-10-loculed. Berries purple-black, 7-8 mm diam. Seeds black, thickly lenticular, 2.5-3 mm, shiny.
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Ecology

Habitat

Disturbed areas, chrome ore piles; 10-1800m.
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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering summer-winter.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Phytolacca icosandra

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 18
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Root and Fruit: Juice is purgative.

  • Heckel, E. 1897. Les Plantes Médicinales et Toxiques de la Guyane Francaise. 93 pp. Macon, France: Protat Freres.

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Wikipedia

Phytolacca icosandra

Phytolacca icosandra, sometimes known as Tropical pokeweed, is a species of flowering plant found in the neotropics and introduced into the warmer areas of the western USA.

It reaches up to 3 m in height, with leaves of 10-20 cm by 9-14 cm. The flowers are produced in racemes 10-15 cm long, each flower 5-10 mm diameter, with 8-20 stamens (icosandra means "twenty stamens"). The fruit is a black berry, 5-8 mm diameter.

The herbal cure hongosan is derived from this plant.

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Notes

Common Names

French Guiana: epinard de Cayenne.

  • Heckel, E. 1897. Les Plantes Médicinales et Toxiques de la Guyane Francaise. 93 pp. Macon, France: Protat Freres.

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Plant introduced from India to French Guiana.

  • Grenand, P., Moretti, C. and H. Jacquemin. 1987. Pharmacopées Traditionnelles en Guyane: Créoles, Palikur, Wayapi. 569 pp. Paris: Editions de l'ORSTOM.
  • Schultes, R.E. and R.F. Raffauf. 1990. The Healing Forest: Medicinal and Toxic Plants of the Northwest Amazonia. 484 pp. Portland, Oregon: Dioscorides Press.

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Comments

Some authors (e.g., J. I. Davis 1985) include Phytolacca octandra in the synonymy of P. icosandra.
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