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Plant Details

Phytolacca americana

Pokeweed, American Pokeweed, Great Pokeweed, Pokeberry, Red Ink Plant, Pigeonberry

Scientific Name:

Phytolacca americana

Genus:

Phytolacca

Species Epithet:

americana

Common Name:

Pokeweed, American Pokeweed, Great Pokeweed, Pokeberry, Red Ink Plant, Pigeonberry

Plant Type

Herb/Wildflower

Life Cycle

Perennial

Plant Family

Phytolaccaceae (Pokeweed Family)

Native/Alien:

NC Native

Size:

3-6 ft., 6-12 ft.

Bloom Color(s):

White, Pink

Light:

Sun - 6 or more hours of sun per day, Part Shade - 2 to 6 hours of sun per day

Soil Moisture:

Dry, Moist

Bloom Time:

May, June, July, August, September, October, November

Growing Area:

Mountains, Piedmont, Sandhills, Coastal Plain

Habitat Description:

“In a wide variety of natural and disturbed habitats, usually associated with exposed mineral soil” (Weakley 2015). Common throughout NC.

Leaf Arrangement:

Alternate

Leaf Retention:

Deciduous

Leaf Type:

Leaves veined, not needle-like or scale-like

Leaf Form:

Simple

Life Cycle:

Perennial

Wildlife Value:

Important for Wildlife

Landscape Value:

Not Recommended for home landscapes

Notes:

"An abundant 'native weed' occurring throughout e. North America, P. americana is widely dispersed by birds and quickly colonizes exposed mineral soil even in undisturbed forests, such as on tree- fall tip-up mounds or flood scours. It is most abundant, however, as a weed of urban, suburban, and agricultural disturbances. The berries and mature stems are poisonous; the young stems have been used as a potherb and the purple berries as a source of ink" (Weakley 2015).

Plants

image

Tom Harville

New buds

image

Tom Harville

Blooms just opening

image

Tom Harville

Blooms & green fruit

image

Tom Harville

Green fruit & Ripe fruit

image

Tom Harville

Old Fruit

image

Tom Harville

Old Plant

image

Tom Harville

Links:

USDA PLANTS Database Record


Bird-Friendly Native Plants



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