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Rivina humilis

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Rivina humilis is a species of flowering plant in the family Petiveriaceae. It was formerly placed in the pokeweed family, Phytolaccaceae.<ref name=APGIV2016>Template:Cite journal</ref> It can be found in the southern United States, the Caribbean, Central America, and tropical South America. Common names include pigeonberry,<ref name="GRIN"/> rougeplant,<ref name="GRIN"/> baby peppers,<ref name="NPIN">Template:Cite web</ref> bloodberry,<ref name="GRIN"/> and coralito.<ref name="GRIN"/> The specific epithet means "dwarfish" or "lowly" in Latin, referring to the plant's short stature.<ref name="Nellis">Template:Cite book</ref>

Description

Pigeonberry is an erect, vine-like<ref name="eFloras">Template:Cite web</ref> herb,<ref name="NPIN"/> reaching a height of Template:Convert.<ref name="eFloras"/> The leaves of this evergreen perennial<ref name="Aggie">Template:Cite web</ref> are up to Template:Convert wide and Template:Convert, with a petiole Template:Convert in length. Flowers are on racemes Template:Convert long with a peduncle Template:Convert in length and pedicels Template:Convert long. Sepals are Template:Convert in length and white or green to pink or purplish.<ref name="eFloras"/> The fruit is a glossy, bright red berry<ref name="Nellis"/> Template:Convert in diameter.<ref name="eFloras"/>

Rivina humilis plant with fruit and flowers.

Habitat

Rivinia humilis can be found in forests, thickets, shell middens, hammocks, roadsides, and disturbed areas at elevations from sea level to Template:Convert.<ref name="eFloras"/> It requires less than partial sun and is tolerant of full shade. It is also tolerant of salt spray and saline soils.<ref name="Aggie"/>

Uses

Pigeonberry is cultivated as an ornamental in warm regions throughout the world<ref name="eFloras"/> and is valued as a shade-tolerant groundcover.<ref>Template:Cite book</ref> It is also grown as a houseplant<ref name="PlantCare">Template:Cite web</ref> and in greenhouses.<ref name="eFloras"/>

The juice made from the berries was used as a dye and ink at one time. The berries contain a pigment known as rivianin or rivinianin,<ref name="Nellis"/> which has the IUPAC name 5-O-β-D-Glucopyranoside, 3-sulfate, CAS number 58115-21-2, and molecular formula C24H26N2O16S.<ref>Template:Cite book</ref> It is very similar to betanin, the pigment found in beets.<ref name="Nellis"/> The fruit also contains the betaxanthin humilixanthin.<ref>Humilixanthin a new betaxanthin from Rivina humilis. Dieter Strack, Doris Schmitt, Hans Reznik, Wilhelm Boland, Lutz Grotjahn and Victor Wray, Phytochemistry, 1987, Volume 26, Issue 8, Pages 2285–2287, Template:Doi</ref>

The juice of the berries have been tested in male rats and are reported to be safe to consume.<ref>Food Chem. Toxicol., December 2011, volume 49, issue 12, pages 3154-3157</ref>

Ecology

R. humilis is a host plant for the caterpillars of Goodson's greenstreak (Cyanophrys goodsoni)<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

References

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External links

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