The fruit of Phytolacca decandra.

Characters. - A depressed-globular, dark purple, compound berry, about one-third of an inch (8 millimetres) in diameter, composed of ten carpels, each containing one lenticular, black seed; juice purplish-red; inodorous; sweet, slightly acrid.

U.S.P. Phytolaccae Radix. Phytolacca Boot. Poke Boot. The root of Phytolacca decandra.

Characters. - Branched, wrinkled, yellowish-brown externally, yellowish-white internally. Transverse sections exhibit numerous concentric rings. No smell; taste sweetish, and afterwards acrid.

Action. - Poke is emetic, cathartic, and somewhat narcotic, producing in large doses vomiting, purging, drowsiness, dimness of vision, giddiness, and sometimes convulsions. It has been proposed as an emetic instead of ipecacuan, but its action is too slow. As an alterative it has been recommended in rheumatism. Externally a strong infusion or decoction of the root has been used in piles, skin diseases, and cancer.