Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Phytolacca acinos

 Common name Red-ink plant from China, grows to about 1 meter  high and is totally deciduous in winter. The flowers are greenish white, but it is not grown for its flowers, it is the pink stems that hold the black globose berries with 5-16 free or fused carpels on long racemes. Much loved by birds which are not affected by the toxin carried in the berries as it is passed whole through their bodies.
It is not invasive here in our garden, as I have had to propagate it from cuttings in early spring using very soft tips with a # 3 strength hormone powder, I have noticed 3 seedlings  come up this year in our gravel driveway.
Reference book Guide to the Flowers of Western China by Christopher Grey-Wilson & Phillip Cribb.

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