lifestyle

Phytolacca

It might be poisonous, it might be common, but let’s take a closer look! How perfect are those berries? 🖤

Phitoltacca or Pokeberry

Phytolacca is a genus of perennial plants. The generic name is derived from the greek word phyton (plant) & the latin word lacca (a red dye). The leaves, stems, roots, blossoms, but also the berries could contain phytolaccatoxin and phytolaccigenin, which are poisonous to mammals. Birds are not affected by the toxin, so they usually consume the berries which helps the plant spread its seeds.

The genus comprises about 25 to 35 species. Leaves can be either deciduous or evergreen. Stems can be green, pink or red. Flowers are white or pink, produced in long racemes at the ends of the stems. They develop into globose berries, green at first, ripening dark purple to black.

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