Fall Wildflowers of New England
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Pokeweed
Phytolacca Americana
F. Phytolaccaceae
Phytolacca americana
General Description:

Pokeweed is a relatively large wildflower measuring approximately 3m. in height. The small, white flowers of pokeweed are arranged as elongated clusters along the length of robust reddish-brown stems. When in fruit, the deep purple berries form heavy, drooping elongated clusters. The leaves are large and lanceolate

Flowers:

The white, radially symmetrical flowers of pokeweed are very small, measuring 6 mm. in width. Each bloom has a small, green, central fruiting structure, surrounded by white stamens, five rounded petals and five, white, petal-like sepals. Flowers are arranged as elongated clusters along the length of the reddish-brown stems.

Fruit:

Pokeweed berries are rounded, juicy, and dark purple. Berries are arranged in heavy, drooping elongated clusters.

Leaves:

The rich green leaves are large, measuring 12.5-30 cm. in length, and lanceolate with tapered tips and bases. They have wrinkled margins, are conspicuously veined, and are densely arranged.

Habitat:

Pokeweed grows best in open woods, damp thickets, around clearings and along roadsides.

Fun Facts:

Pokeweed is a toxic plant. The berries and roots are poisonous; however, immature pokeweed shoots can be boiled, reboiled, and eaten as greens.

The dark purple juice of pokeweed berries can be used as fabric dye and was used as a colorant for cheap wines.

Phytolacca americana
Phytolacca americana
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