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Plant Identification: SOLVED: Black berries in grape-like cluster

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Syros
Gomel
Belarus

August 10, 2011
10:36 AM

Post #8748641

Please, help identify these berries. They are black in colour, arranged in a grape-like cluster. The stem to which the berries are attached is pink.

I only have the fruit. No idea what the rest of the plant looks like.

Thanks for your help!

Alex

Thumbnail by Syros
Click the image for an enlarged view.

kwanjin

kwanjin
West Valley City, UT
(Zone 7a)

August 10, 2011
10:40 AM

Post #8748657

Pokeweed? Phytolacca? Or something in the Phytolaccaceae family?
ogon
Paradise, CA
(Zone 9a)

August 10, 2011
10:56 AM

Post #8748709

The structure and color sure do resemble Phytolacca americana, so I think kwanjin is right, it might be something in the same family. The berries seem to be in groups, while the Phytolacca that grows over here has each berry individually attached to the scape. From what I can find, it resembles the seeds of Phytolacca dioica, the Ombu tree. It is a tree in this family native to South America, but cultivated widely as a bonzai and apparently sometimes also as a shade tree.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phytolacca_dioica
third group of image from the bottom is of this particular tree: http://waynesword.palomar.edu/ecoph24.htm

I just did a quick search though, there might be other Phytolacca with similar berries, but it does appear to be of that genus.

themoonhowl

themoonhowl
Prairieville, LA
(Zone 9a)

August 10, 2011
11:01 AM

Post #8748729

I did find a listing for Rivina humilis in a list of plants found in Belarus. It is a member of Phytolaccaceea and poisonous.

http://www.wildflower.org/gallery/result.php?id_image=7133

kwanjin

kwanjin
West Valley City, UT
(Zone 7a)

August 10, 2011
11:06 AM

Post #8748748

Rivina humilis appears to have red berries.

themoonhowl

themoonhowl
Prairieville, LA
(Zone 9a)

August 10, 2011
11:10 AM

Post #8748762

They do start out red, but age to black.

http://passionplantae.blogspot.com/2010_02_07_archive.html

edited to correct link

This message was edited Aug 10, 2011 1:11 PM

kwanjin

kwanjin
West Valley City, UT
(Zone 7a)

August 10, 2011
11:24 AM

Post #8748784

Aha!

themoonhowl

themoonhowl
Prairieville, LA
(Zone 9a)

August 10, 2011
11:42 AM

Post #8748860

It would help if I got the right picture up there...grin
Syros
Gomel
Belarus

August 10, 2011
1:21 PM

Post #8749090

[quote="themoonhowl"]They do start out red, but age to black.

http://passionplantae.blogspot.com/2010_02_07_archive.html

edited to correct link

This message was edited Aug 10, 2011 1:11 PM[/quote]

Thanks ever so much, themoonhowl!
The page you've linked to has a picture of what looks like an exact match. Which means that it's Phytolacca Esculenta.
Pretty surprised to see this plant in the wild in this part of the world (Belarus - Eastern Europe).

Thanks a lot to everybody for being so helpful, I really appreciate this!
What a great forum you've got here!

kwanjin

kwanjin
West Valley City, UT
(Zone 7a)

August 10, 2011
2:45 PM

Post #8749179

You're very welcome and WELCOME to Dave's! You'll find yourself addicted to this site in no time.

themoonhowl

themoonhowl
Prairieville, LA
(Zone 9a)

August 10, 2011
5:10 PM

Post #8749399

You are very welcome Syros. Welcome to DG. Glad to help you close this one out.

Resin

Resin
Northumberland
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

August 10, 2011
5:55 PM

Post #8749467

Most likely Phytolacca americana, that is a common invasive weed in Europe.

Resin
ogon
Paradise, CA
(Zone 9a)

August 10, 2011
6:16 PM

Post #8749504

I've never seen Phytolacca americana with berries like that though. On the plants in my yard, the individual berries are rounded like this:

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/10385/

The picture Moon provided appears to be a better match for berry shape.

Resin

Resin
Northumberland
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

August 11, 2011
10:35 AM

Post #8750383

Yep, on second look, Phytolacca acinosa (syn. P. esculenta) is a better match than P. americana. Native to China, and will be hardy in Belarus.

P. dioica can be excluded as it is subtropical, no way it would survive in Belarus.

Resin

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