Thursday, August 30, 2007

Seeds of the noxious Pokeweed, Phytolacca americana

I actually find the plant to be quite handsome and the pink stems and green and black berries attractive. I only wish it wasn't so highly invasive and prolific.


Cadence said...

Are those your plantation?
when I was little,I love to find difference in plants inorder to learn about it.

Ki said...

Hi Cadence,
I don't understand your use of plantation. I think you were an unusual child to look at plants so closely. I was always around plants because my dad collected some interesting ones but I didn't look at them very carefully. I guess I absorbed my liking for plants by osmosis.

A wildlife gardener said...

What a really interesting plant, one with which I am not familiar. but I love the contrasting colours it displays. Awesome photos, by the way :)

Ki said...

Hi Wildlife Gardener,
The pokeweed is unfortunately a very common weed in our neighborhood. The plants are robust, often growing up to ten feet tall with quite a spread. Each plant produces many seeds which are eaten by birds and scattered everywhere. I've been pulling up seedlings all year in our yard. It is quite an impressive and handsome plant though.

DeeMom said...

Ki, a friend of mine is a spinner and a weaver and she told me the Pokeberry is an excellent dye for wools.

Great pictures

Ki said...

Hi Deemom,
I knew the tender shoots are edible if cooked in water twice to remove the toxins but I didn't know it made a good plant dye. Looking at the purple/pink stems and almost black berries you can almost assume it would make a good dye. I wonder what color the wool becomes?
As always, thanks for your informative comment.

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Wow, talk about hot pink! I don't think I have ever seen this weed, my weeds are not nearly so interesting :).

Ki said...

Hi Iowa Gardening Woman,
I'm sure poke, pokeweed or pokeberry, grows in Iowa but I can't say that I remember seeing any when we lived in Iowa City. It really is a brilliant pink. I just passed by a plant this afternoon and saw what looked to be bright pink flowers on the pokeweed but it was the sepals that remained on the bush when the berries either fell off or were eaten by birds. I'll take a picture and add it to the others because it looked quite interesting.

Here's a link to an Iowa State site that has information on poke.
Here's a link to an Iowa State site that has information on poke.