Pokeweed

September 4, 2015

Phytolacca americana L.

Life cycle

Erect, branched tap-rooted perennial.

pokeweed plant
Pokeweed plant.

Leaves

Alternate, hairless, broadly oval, lance- to egg-shaped with smooth to slightly wavy leaf margins.

pokeweed cotyledon
Pokeweed seedling.

Stems

Smooth, succulent, herbaceous, predominantly reddish and branched multiple times without a central stem, reaching up to 9 feet in height.

pokeweed new plant
Young pokeweed plant.

Flowers and fruit

Greenish white to pink flowers yield erect to nodding, hanging clusters of conspicuous, deep purple to black berries when mature. Berries are poisonous, and berry juice will easily stain.

pokeweed fruit
Mature pokeweed berries.

Reproduction

Seeds. Often dispersed by birds.

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