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American pokeweed

Phytolacca americana

Description:

In the Southeast, Pokeweed is part of the landscape, one of the first plants you learn to identify. Wish I could have found one that hadn't been stripped of foliage by caterpillars ... the leaves in the photos belong to Kudzu which, I guess, caterpillars don't like.

Notes:

Wikipedia:

Large semi-succulent herbaceous perennial plant growing up to 10 feet (3 metres) in height. It is native to eastern North America, the Midwest, and the Gulf Coast, with more scattered populations in the far West. It is also known as Virginia poke, American nightshade, cancer jalap, coakum, garget, inkberry, pigeon berry, pocan, pokeroot, pokeberry, redweed, scoke, red ink plant and chui xu shang lu (in Chinese medicine).

Parts of this plant are highly toxic to livestock and humans, and it is considered a major pest by farmers. Nonetheless, some parts can be used as food if properly prepared.

The plant has a large white taproot, green or red stems, and large, simple leaves. White flowers are followed by purple to almost black berries, which are a good food source for songbirds such as Gray Catbird, Northern Cardinal, Brown Thrasher, and Northern Mockingbird.

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suzmonk
Spotted by
suzmonk

Meridian, Mississippi, USA

Spotted on Sep 7, 2013
Submitted on Sep 23, 2013

Spotted for Mission

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