ombú

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ombú

(ōmbo͞o`), large evergreen tree (Phytolacca dioica) of the pampas of Argentina and Uruguay. It has an umbrellalike spread of foliage; the trunk may attain a girth of 40 to 50 ft (12.2–15.2 m). The tree grows rapidly. Its wood is spongy and soft enough to be cut with a knife. The ombú is the only tree native to the pampas, where it presents a solitary and distinctive aspect and provides welcome shade. Because the sap is poisonous, the ombú is not browsed by cattle and is immune to locusts and other pests. The dark, glossy leaves are sometimes used locally for a brew. The ombú is of the same genus as the North American pokeweedpokeweed
or pokeberry,
tall, bushy perennial herb (Phytolacca americana) native to North America but cultivated and naturalized in Europe. The long clusters of white flowers are followed by purplish black flattened berries, whose crimson juice has been used as
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. It is planted as a shade tree in S California. Ombú is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Caryophyllales, family Phytolaccaceae.
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