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NC Native Plant Society:
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

Tall plant with long racemes of white flowers and pink colored stems

Macon County, NC

Bettina Darveaux

Senesced plant with remaining berries in November

Orange County, NC

Bettina Darveaux

Links:

USDA PLANTS Database Record



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