Ombu Tree

Phytolacca dioica x weberbaueri

Family: Phytolaccaceae
Genus: Phytolacca (fy-toh-LAK-uh) (Info)
Species: dioica x weberbaueri



Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage


This plant is resistant to deer

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


over 40 ft. (12 m)


over 40 ft. (12 m)


USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Encino, California

Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 9, 2010, hds_arg from Buenos Aires,
Argentina wrote:

As stated by Palmbob, this plant is toxic because the sap is. And it's a very invasive weed... yes folks, it's not a tree, it's an arborescent weed, hence the viciousness... as a weed, it's not made of "wood", it's a useless tree (aside from shadow, which is quite important for cattle and houses, and is the only reason it is intentionally grown). The "wood" is spongy and soft, and you will be surprised to find no growth rings if you chop the plant down (again, it's not a tree, it's a herb). In fact, when cut to the ground, it will grow again and again right away... in fact, it will actually grow faster and stronger.

I'm from Argentina, where Ombus are native. They grow isolated in the pampas and are also called bellasombras (beautiful shadow).

By the way, the ... read more


On Jul 27, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This tree can be scary. I got a softwood cutting from a friend of mine- just stuck in moist potting soil, and had a miniature tree a few weeks later. The leaves on it are gorgeous- deep green with bright red-pink veination. Before I plant it, he warned me, put it where you don't think it will hurt anything. Oops. He was right. This tree is the fastest growing thing in the yard- even faster than Eucalyptus or Palowania. Amazing. And destructive. IT makes roots that crawl right under the surface about 2' thick and up to 50' long. Beware concrete, because this will lift you right up! But wow, what a tree! It does get a bit toasted by frosty winds in the winter, but grows back instantly. And the leaves are so huge and green they add a great tropical look to the garden. And the shade... read more