Phytolacca icosandra

Phytolacca icosandra L

Common Names: Poke Weed, Tropical Poke Weed, Button Poke Weed, Pork Bush, Poke Bush

Family: Phytolaccaceae

Habit Phytolacca icosandra grows as long-lived perennial becoming slightly woody at stem base to 3 m in height. The leaves are arranged alternately, to 25 cm in length, elliptic to lanceolate to ovate, with an acute (sometimes mucronate) leaf apex and entire margin.

The incomplete, perfect, actinomorphic, flowers are arranged in axillary and terminal spike like, slightly pubescent, racemes.  The calyx has 5 greenish white to pink unfused, sepals subtended by two bracts. There are no petals. There are numerous unfused stamens.  The there are numerous united carpels. The fruit is a purple berry at maturity. 

Habitat: Phytolacca icosandra grows in Human Altered environments (fields, waste areas, abandoned sites, old farms) and at the edges of Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formations – Forests

Distribution: Phytolacca icosandra occurs throughout many of the island groupings within the Lucayan Archipelago as well as the southern United States, the entire Caribbean region and throughout Central and South America. 

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Phytolacca icosandra is not used medicinally in the Bahamas.