Plants to 2 m. Leaves: petiole 0.5-3 cm; blade lanceolate to elliptic, to 22 × 7.5 cm, base obtuse to attenuate, apex acute to acute-acuminate, sometimes mucronate. Inflorescences axil-lary or terminal spikes or spikelike, equaling or shorter than subtending leaves, to 14 cm; peduncle to 3 cm; pedicel absent or to 2 mm. Flowers: sepals 5, white to pinkish or reddish, oblong to ovate, subequal, 2-3 × 1.2-2 mm; stamens (7-)8-10, in 1 whorl; carpels 7-10, connate; ovary 7-10-loculed. Berries greenish, 4.5-6 mm diam. Seeds black, lenticular, 2 mm, shiny. Flowering summer-fall northward, probably year-round southward. Disturbed areas; 200-1000 m; Ariz, Wis.; Mexico; West Indies; Central America; South America; Asia; Africa; Pacific Islands. Phytolacca octandra is a species with nearly worldwide distribution. It is closely similar to, and perhaps not specifically distinct from, P. icosandra (J. I. Davis 1985).