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Pokeberry

Phytolacca americana

Description:

This plant is also called Inkberry. It is a tall, large-leaved, branching plant with reddish stems and long clusters of small, white flowers. The berries are shiny and dark, with a flat indented top and bottom. The roots grow deep and spread horizontally. Grow rapidly. Its berries and roots are poisonous, however emerging shoots can be gathered before the pink color appears, cooked and eaten as greens. The seeds are dispersed by birds that use these berries as food.

Habitat:

Pokeberry can be found in fields and waste places, and in edge habitats. Because of its adaptability, in recent years the plant increased its appearance in populated places. Found in most of the United States except the Mountain States, Alaska and Hawaii

Notes:

The berry juice was used as a dye by the early colonists and to improve cheap wine. Some parts of this plant are very toxic to humans, and is viewed as a pest by farmers. But some parts of the plant are used as medicine, poison and food especially for songbirds.

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TNCC
Spotted by a stud ent at TNCC

Williamsburg, Virginia, USA

Spotted on Sep 4, 2014
Submitted on Sep 6, 2014

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