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Phytolacca rigida Small. Maritime Pokeweed. Phen: May-Dec. Hab: Dune slacks, dune slopes, edges of tidal marshes, disturbed areas on barrier islands, xeric sandhills near the coast. Dist: DE (reportedly), se. VA south to FL and west to TX in the Southeastern Coastal Plain.

ID notes:In addition to the characters in the key, Phytolacca rigida is usually smaller, with smaller leaves and a "tidier" habit, than Phytolacca americana.

Origin/Endemic status: Endemic

Taxonomy Comments: Caulkins & Wyatt (1990) reduced P. rigida to varietal rank, but it seems distinct at species rank.

Other Comments: In the northern parts of our area, in NC and VA, P. rigida is rather rare, limited to the vicinity of the coast, and less weedy than P. americana.

Synonymy: = S, Hardin (1964a), Rogers (1985); = n/a – C, F, Tat; = Phytolacca americana L. var. rigida (Small) Caulkins & R.E.Wyatt – FNA4, K1, K3, K4, Va, Caulkins & Wyatt (1990); < Phytolacca americana L. – Fl5, GW2, RAB, Tx, WH3, Rzedowski & Calderon de Rzedowski (2000); < Phytolacca decandra L. – S13, misapplied

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Wetland Indicator Status:

  • Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain: FACU (taxonomic split from wetland indicator species)
  • Great Plains: FACU (taxonomic split from wetland indicator species)
  • Midwest: FACU (taxonomic split from wetland indicator species)
  • Northcentral & Northeast: FACU (taxonomic split from wetland indicator species)

Heliophily: 9

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image of plant© Bruce A. Sorrie | Original Image ⭷

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