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© Yan Dumas
© David John
Phytolacca americana - American pokeweed

Synonym: Phytolacca decandra
French name:  Raisin d'Amérique
Dutch name: Westerse karmozijnbes
Family: Phytolaccaceae
Group: Vascular plants
Origin: North America
Habitat: terrestrial
Introduction:  agri- and horticulture
ISEIA Score : 9
This species is not yet naturalised in Belgium.
Establishment potential in Belgium : medium
It is already invasive in : France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland
Reproduction in the wild: no
Dispersion potential: likely
Natural habitats: likely
More on naturalization and invasiveness: The American pokeweed is widely naturalised in ruderal sites and in nature-like habitats in southern Europe, extending northwards to central France. Semi-natural habitats colonised include heaths, open woodlands, clearcut areas and forest edges. In Belgium, it is commonly used as an ornamental; it is planted in gardens and public green areas but doesn't reproduce in the wild so far.
Impacts on Species
Predation / Herbivory: low
Competition: high
Disease transmission: low
Genetic effects: low
Impacts on Ecosystems
Nutrient cycling: unknown
Physical alteration: unknown
Natural successions: likely
Food web alteration: low
More on impacts: Under suitable environment conditions, P. americana forms dense populations that can outcompete native vegetation and prevent regeneration of forest species. The plant produces toxic saponins.
Data Source & References
Authors: Branquart Etienne, Vanderhoeven Sonia, Van Landuyt Wouter, Van Rossum Fabienne, Verloove Filip
Published on:  16 March 2009
Last update:  17 December 2010
Dumas, Y. (2011)
Que savons-nous du raisin d'Amérique (Phytolacca americana), espèce exotique envahissante ?
Rendez-vous techniques 33-34: 48-57.
Wittenberg, R. (2005)
An inventory of alien species and their threat to biodiversity and economy in Switzerland.
CABI Bioscience Switzerland Centre report to the Swiss Agency for Environment, Forests and Landscape. The environment in practice no. 0629: 155p.

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