Etymology: Phytolacca: from Greek phyto, "plant," and Latin lacca, "crimson lake," because of the color in the berries
Plants: erect, perennial, 2'-9' tall, smooth forb branched toward the top
Leaves: stalked, lance-like to oval
Flowers: white to pinkish, 5-parted, 1/4" wide; inflorescence a 4"-8" spike-like cluster (raceme) of stalked flowers; blooms July-Sept.
Fruits: blue-black, juicy berry with smooth skin when ripe
Habitat: moderate moisture; woods, disturbed sites
Hazardous: Careful, this plant is hazardous!
Conservation Status: Native
Flora of North America: Flora of North America Floristic Rating: Coefficient of Conservatism = 1, Wetland Indicator = FAC- USDA Plants Database: Federal Distribution and detailed information including photos Dan Tenaglia's The Missouri Flora: Fabulous photographs; detailed descriptions; color and leave arrangement key. David G. Smith's "Delaware Wilflowers": Beautiful photographs; descriptions Illinois Wildflowers: Wonderful photographs; detailed descriptions; color and leaf arrangement key Southwest School of Botanical Medicine: Britton & Brown Illustrated Flora - 2nd Edition (1913) "An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada"