Common name: Bella Sombra, Umbu, Packalacca, Ombu
Phytolacca dioica L. APNI*
Description: Fast-growing, evergreen, dioecious shrub or tree, to 7 m high; trunk broad, with large outgrowths at the base; crown broader than the tree is high.
Leaves elliptic or ovate, 7–15 cm long, 5–7.5 cm wide, apex acute, veins obvious on lower surface, dark green at first then turning yellow and then purple, glabrous; petiole to 8 cm long.
Flowers white, in drooping racemes, as long as the leaves; male flowers with 20–30 stamens exceeding the calyx; female flowers with 10 staminodes and 7–10 carpels.
Fruit depressed-globose, 10–12 mm diam., dark red to almost black; 7–11-lobed and 7–11-seeded.
Distribution and occurrence: Originally grown as a fodder plant in pasture, but has now naturalized. Leaves are palatable to stock, roots are poisonous. Native of S Amer.
NSW subdivisions: *NC
Other Australian states: *Qld *Vic.
Text by G. J. Harden
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 1 Suppl. (1999)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.