Plants to 3 m. Leaves: petiole 0.5-6 cm; blade elliptic to obovate or rarely lanceolate, to 30 × 15 cm, base obtuse to attenuate, apex acute. Inflorescences spikes or spikelike, surpassing subtending leaves, to 30 cm; peduncle to 10 cm; pedicel 0.5-2 mm. Flowers: sepals 5, white or pink to pale reddish, broadly elliptic, equal, to 3 × 2 mm; stamens (8-)10-22(-30), usually in 2 whorls; carpels mostly 6-10, connate; ovary 6-10-loculed. Berries purple-black, 7-8 mm diam. Seeds black, thickly lenticular, 2.5-3 mm, shiny. Flowering summer-winter. Disturbed areas, chrome ore piles; 10-1800 m; introduced; Ariz., Calif., Md.; Mexico; West Indies; Central America; South America. Some authors (e.g., J. I. Davis 1985) include Phytolaccaoctandra in the synonymy of P. icosandra.
PLANT: Perennial herbs 1-2 m high, glabrous to puberulent. STEMS: somewhat succulent. LEAVES: elliptic to ovate, 5-30 cm long. LEAVES: elliptic to ovate, 5-30 cm long. INFLORESCENCE: spike-like racemes, erect in fruit, 7-16 cm long, puberulent. FLOWERS: green, white, or pink; calyx 2-3 mm long; stamens 8-10 in ours. FRUIT: on pedicels 3 mm or less long. NOTES: Disturbed and burned habitats: mts of Cochise, Pima cos., possibly also in Santa Cruz co.; 1500-1850 m (5000-6000 ft); Jul-Dec; Mex. to n S. Amer. and naturalized in the Old World. REFERENCES: Steinmann, Victor. 2001. Phytolaccaceae. J. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. Volume 33(1).