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Care of the plant Phytolacca dioica or Ombu tree.

Care of the tree Phytolacca dioica or Ombu tree

The genus Phytolacca, family Phytolaccaceae, includes 20 species of herbaceous plants native to America (South and North), Asia, Africa, Madagascar and Australia. Some species are: Phytolacca dioica, Phytolacca rivinoides, Phytolacca americana, Phytolacca bogotensis, Phytolacca icosandra.

Common names: Beautiful Shade, Elephant Tree, Ombu tree, Umbra tree, Pokeweed. This species is native to South America (Argentina and Chile).

They are dioecious trees (with male and female plants) that reach more than 15 meters (49.2 feet) in height. They have very low branches and large, broad roots that protrude well from the base of the trunk. The large, lustrous leaves are evergreen, pendant, petioled, sharp, and elliptical in shape. They bloom in spring with long clusters of tiny white flowers, featuring female and male flowers. They then produce clusters of (poisonous) berry-like fruits.

They are used as a shade tree in large gardens and in public parks. They should not be planted near buildings because their strong roots lift the soil. They are fast growing plants that live for many years.

Phytolacca dioica needs full sun exposure and warm temperatures. They can withstand occasional frosts and the coastal environment.

It's not a demanding tree with the soil. Use a normal garden substrate with coarse sand and abundant organic matter.

Water moderately while waiting for the substrate to dry to avoid root rot. Keep in mind that they store water in the spongy trunk without rings.

Prune branches from the base to control growth.

It's a plant that is not usually affected by diseases and pests.

They can be propagated from seeds taken from the fruits and sown in the seedbed in spring.

Images of the tree Phytolacca dioica or Ombu tree

Phytolacca dioica
Phytolacca dioica
Phytolacca dioica
Phytolacca dioica
Phytolacca dioica
Phytolacca dioica