Definitions

ombú

ombú

ombú, 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 pokeweed. It is planted as a shade tree in S California. Ombú is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Caryophyllales, family Phytolaccaceae.
for the Tibetan village see Ombu, Tibet

The ombú is a massive evergreen herb native to the Pampas of South America. The tree has an umbrella-like canopy that spreads to a girth of 12 to 15 meters (40 to 50 feet) and can attain a height of 12 to 18 meters (40 to 60 feet). The ombú grows fast but being herbaceous its wood is soft and spongy enough to be cut with a knife. Because of this, it is also used in the art of bonsai, as it is easily manipulated to create the desired effect. Since the sap is poisonous, the ombú is not grazed by cattle and is immune to locusts and other pests. For similar reasons, the leaves are sometimes used as a laxative or purgant. It is a symbol of Uruguay, Argentina, and of Gaucho culture, as its canopy is quite distinguishable from afar and provides comfort and shelter from sun and rain.

The tree is categorized in the same genus as the North American pokeweed. The species is also cultivated in Southern California as a shade tree.

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