Sp. Pl. 1: 121. 1753.
Gen. Pl. ed. 5, 57. 1754.
Herbs or subshrubs, perennial, woody at base. Leaves alternate. Inflorescences axillary or terminal racemes, 5–50-flowered. Flowers: sepals 4; stamens 4; carpel 1, ovary 1-loculed; style present; stigma 1, capitate. Fruits berries, red to orange or yellow, subglobose. Seed 1.
North America, Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America, Asia, Pacific Islands, Australia.
The fruits of Rivina have been called berries, drupes, or, by those unwilling to commit themselves, simply fruits. The most recent study of fruit morphology and anatomy (D. D. Nautiyal and S. C. Gupta 1984) uses the term “berry.”
Kajale, L. B. 1954. A contribution to the embryology of the Phytolaccaceae II. Fertilization and the development of embryo, seed and fruit in Rivina humilis Linnaeus and Phytolacca dioica Linnaeus. J. Indian Bot. Soc. 33: 206–225.