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Common name: Inkweed Botanical name: Phytolacca octandra
Family: Phytolaccaceae Maximum height: 2 metres


Where found:

  • Native of South and Central America.
  • Found especially in disturbed ground, bush burns and wasteland.
  • Well-drained, fertile site.
  • Regenerating forest, forest margins.
  • Small upright shrub, soft-wooded, bushy, leafy perennial. The older stems are woody, brittle and hollow and much branched.
  • The leaves are elliptical (long oval) up to 150 mm long and 50 mm wide with smooth margins. They get darker green as they age.
  • The flowers, which occur November-August, are small, green and turn pink in cylindrical clusters up to 7 cm long. The fruits are purple-black, 8 seeded berries about 8 mm in diameter, containing the glossy black seeds up to 25 mm diameter which are spread by birds.
  • The berries, leaves and roots are poisonous.
  • Tolerant of wind, salt.
Prevent plants from flowering and setting seed. Pull out and dispose of carefully or apply herbicide.


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