Ontario Wildflowers website

Pokeweed
Phytolacca americana

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) Other common names: American Pokeweed, Pigeonberry, Pokeberry

Other scientific names: Phytolacca decandra, Phytolacca thyrsiflora

French names: Phytolaque d'Amérique

Family: Pokeweed Family (Phytolaccaceae)

Flowers: Summer;  White;  5 parts (petals);  Tall raceme of white flowers, arching over as it ages.

Leaves: Alternate, Simple, Entire

Height: 100-300 cm (39-118 in)

Fruit/Seeds: Black or dark purple berries, not edible.

Habitat: Forests, Fields and Open Areas

Grows in Sun/Shade: Shade

Edible: The young shoots are edible.

Poisonous: The plant becomes poisonous once it grows up past the young shoot stage.

Books: Newcomb's Wildflower Guide: 200   

Native/Non-native: Native

Origin and Meaning of Names:
 Scientific Name: americana: American


See Also:
  •   Great Americans: Pokeberry, from The Monday Garden, by Sue Sweeney
  •   Great Americans: Pokeberry, from The Monday Garden, by Sue Sweeney


Photographs: 98 photographs available, of which 16 are featured on this page. SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOGRAPHS.

Range Map is at the bottom of the page

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)

The tall raceme of white flowers.

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)

Closer view of flowers.

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)

The dark purple berries. They are not edible.

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)

A leaf, upper surface.

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)

Stem.

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)

Purplish glaucous stem.

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)

A young plant, past the edible stage.

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)

A large clump of Pokeweed.

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)

Flower buds.

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)

Flower raceme just emerging.

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)

Remnants of Pokeweed in the winter.

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)

A flower developing into a berry.

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)

Along a single raceme you will sometimes find fruit at the base, and flwoers at the tip.

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)

Ripening fruit.


Range map for Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)

PLEASE NOTE: A coloured Province or State means this species occurs somewhere in that Province/State.
The entire Province/State is coloured, regardless of where in that Province/State it occurs.

(Range map provided courtesy of the USDA website and is displayed here in accordance with their Policies)