Blood Berry
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Blood Berry
aturalized Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Blood Berry, Pigeon Berry, coral berry, Baby Pepper, rouge plant
Botanical name: Rivina humilis    Family: Phytolaccaceae (Pokeweed family)
Synonyms: Rivina laevis, Rivina glabrata, Rivina bengalensis

Blood Berry is a small, upright or straggling perennial herb, native to the southern US, Mexico, the Caribbean islands, and Central and South America. The plant is now pantropical and often considered a pest plant outside the Americas. The rouge plant is variable; the leaves may be smooth to velvety. It grows 40-100 cm tall, rarely taller. The plant does best in shady locations and blooms most of the year. The tiny pale pink-white flowers give rise to brilliant orange or red berries. It is unique in that it is covered with small white and pink flowers, green and red berries, and red and green foliage at the same time. Although the berries are considered toxic to humans, birds find them irresistible. The plant is recommended to attract birds to the garden. Southwestern Native Americans used the berries for a red dye. In Mexico, the leaves were employed to treat wounds.

Identification credit: Akramul Hoque, Dinesh Valke Photographed in cultivation in Mumbai & Imphal.

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