Pokeweed
Phytolacca americana

Pokeweed- Click for Full Image

WARNING(S):
All parts of this plant are toxic. See Notes.

Family:
Phytolaccaceae

Also Called:
Poke

Description:
1.5-3 meter (5-10 ft) perennial with coarse roots. Stem is often reddish at base. Leaves are toothless and ovaloid. Flowers are greenish-white. Fruits are berry-like and dark purple to black in clusters. Fruits found August through November.

Location
Found in disturbed areas and waste places. Ranges through most of United States.

Uses and Parts Used

Roots
Root poultices used for rheumatism and bruises. Root washes used for sprains and swellings.

Leaves
Leaves ingested as an emetic. Leaf poultices used to treat acne.

Fruits
Folk remedies in the Ozarks recommend one pokeberry per year as a preventative or treatment for arthritis.

Notes
All parts of Pokeweed are toxic. Some researchers believe Pokeweed has anticancer and anti-HIV potential as the plant contains an antiviral mitogen. Juice from Pokeweed may cause dermatitis.

Pokeweed- Click for Full Image
Pokeweed- Click for Full Image
Pokeweed- Click for Full Image
Pokeweed- Leaf