IPM1007, Revised November 2009
A large, 3 to 10 feet tall perennial with thick, reddish-purple branched stems and dark purple to black berries. All parts of the plant are poisonous to cattle, horses, swine and humans, especially the roots. Leaves are alternate, up to 12 inches long and 4 inches wide, egg-shaped, petiolated, and without hairs. Plants persist from a large white taproot that may reach up to 6 inches in diameter. Seedlings have cotyledons that are long and pointed. Stems below the cotyledons are often succulent and purplish in color.
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