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American Pokeweed, Pokeberry, Phytolacca americana

By frostweed
December 31, 2013

What a beautiful and useful plant this is! This plant is really attractive with its red stems and white flowers that turn into lovely red berries. The leaves also turn gorgeous colors in the fall. It can grow as high as six or eight feet.

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Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
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crittergarden
Dec 31, 2013 7:58 AM CST
It has gone to weed status here but before I knew its name I was fascinated by the berry clusters and colors - so pretty!

Then someone outside the U.S. was looking for seeds because it was so "GORGEOUS". I picked from the empty lot in my street and sent her some.

Ever since then I've kind of wanted to put a single specimen in a pot on my deck (away from everything so it will stand out. And so I can pull the seedlings that will inevitably come up around it. (They're really easy to pull when they're new.)

Now that I know I can use the berries for dye, I WILL DO IT THIS YEAR!

So thank you for telling me how the plant is USEFUL as well as beautiful!
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
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frostweed
Dec 31, 2013 8:48 AM CST
Thank you Crittergarden, I hope you will plant it this year, I have had mine for five years and it hasn't been a problem with spreading too much, and as you say the new plants are easy to pull. I do have thick mulch on the beds so not many seeds get to sprout.

I love the new leaves in the spring, so strong and lush and in the fall if the weather is right the colors are amazing. This year the colors didn't happen, we had a very sudden freeze and the leaves just shriveled up.

Take care and have fun gardening and observing nature.
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
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crittergarden
Dec 31, 2013 8:55 AM CST
Thumbs up
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
Dec 31, 2013 4:12 PM CST
We're not able to grow many large plants with the large green leaves here! I keep them on one side of the property now, not much water given them, but they do okay, just some wilting when it doesn't rain for a while (often during the summer). They bloom and make lots of berries in spite of everything. I grow them for the birds! And other things eat some of the foliage. They must have deep roots here. The birds give them enough fertilizer, so I don't bother. Here's my grove of pokeberry plants earlier this fall. The foliage is all zapped by cold now, will be back in spring!

I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Birds Cat Lover Xeriscape
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frostweed
Dec 31, 2013 4:59 PM CST
That looks great Linda, thank you for showing us yours.
What is the name of the bird in your avatar? It is beautiful!!
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Salvias Herbs Bluebonnets Native Plants and Wildflowers Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Forum moderator Purslane Hummingbirder Cat Lover Butterflies Birds
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LindaTX8
Dec 31, 2013 6:52 PM CST
It's a Painted Bunting, Josephine. They come here every year now!
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Birds Cat Lover Xeriscape
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frostweed
Dec 31, 2013 11:24 PM CST
It sure is gorgeous, I wish they would come here as well. Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
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crittergarden
Jan 1, 2014 6:04 AM CST
I believe you could grow them.
You'd have to water them more.
And they probably wouldn't spread by self seeding....
Want some seeds?
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
Gardening dilettante, that's me!
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fiwit
Jan 1, 2014 6:59 AM CST
Here in my little patch of paradise, I give it weed status (no offense). The birds have planted it for me in several locations. I fight it in some, leave it be in others. Had to fight with myself to reach the "leave it be" status, though. Hilarious! Had to remind myself that my ultimate goal for my yard is to be wildlife friendly. So when this beauty grows in the areas I've designated for wildlife, I leave it be. Thumbs up
Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...
Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
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crittergarden
Jan 1, 2014 8:03 AM CST
fiwit said: Had to fight with myself to reach the "leave it be" status, though. Hilarious! Had to remind myself that my ultimate goal for my yard is to be wildlife friendly. So when this beauty grows in the areas I've designated for wildlife, I leave it be. Thumbs up


Good compromise, fiwit. That's my goal as well, but my yard is so TINY!!! There's a rush pile in the corner between the compost and the fence and that's about it! Although I DO choose many of my pretty plants for the pollinators.
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
Gardening dilettante, that's me!
Plays in the sandbox Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Dog Lover Daylilies The WITWIT Badge
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bluebonnets Birds Region: Georgia Composter Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
fiwit
Jan 1, 2014 8:11 AM CST
Critter, I have the advantage of living in the "used to be country," as I call it. My lot is at least 3/4 acre.
Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...
Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
Rabbit Keeper Bee Lover Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Butterflies Hummingbirder
Dog Lover Birds Plant and/or Seed Trader Bulbs Echinacea Irises
Image
crittergarden
Jan 1, 2014 8:13 AM CST
I had 6 acres in the mountains of North California for my first house.
But I need the city for PRIVACY. Yes, can you believe it? I got real tired of living in a fishbowl.
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Birds Cat Lover Xeriscape
Image
frostweed
Jan 1, 2014 9:24 AM CST
My yard is only 1/3 acre in the city, but it is a corner lot so it allows me a little more elbow room.

My Pokeberries are in the back bed by the fence where i have many other critter friendly plants. Smiling

I also have an evergreen shrub corner as as shelter for birds and other small wildlife near my compost area.
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
Rabbit Keeper Bee Lover Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Butterflies Hummingbirder
Dog Lover Birds Plant and/or Seed Trader Bulbs Echinacea Irises
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crittergarden
Jan 1, 2014 11:04 AM CST
nodding
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: Renée
Northern KY
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KyWoods
Jan 1, 2014 9:23 PM CST
We get several huge plants at the edges of our woods, and I've always admired their color. I didn't know that about the fermented fruit and the tipsy birds! LOL
Name: Sandy
Mont Belvieu, TX 77580 (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Composter Bee Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hibiscus Region: Texas
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ilovejesus99
Jan 2, 2014 6:46 PM CST
I have 2 very large ones that come back every year. As a matter of fact I broke them off at the ground and they are already coming back. I love them. Small yard also.

Garden Ideas: Level 1
sewNsow
Jan 7, 2014 9:10 AM CST
Noxious weed here in Iowa.Birds planted it in soybean fields & regular herbicides didn't kill it. Farmers had to spend $$$ for extra sprayings to eradicate it. Course they don't get it all & it will be back again this year.
sewNsow
Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
Rabbit Keeper Bee Lover Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Butterflies Hummingbirder
Dog Lover Birds Plant and/or Seed Trader Bulbs Echinacea Irises
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crittergarden
Jan 7, 2014 9:16 AM CST
Sometimes there's no chemical substitute for hand weeding....
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: Sandy
Mont Belvieu, TX 77580 (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Composter Bee Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hibiscus Region: Texas
Amaryllis Bromeliad Dog Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Lilies
Image
ilovejesus99
Jan 9, 2014 11:36 AM CST
I agree. If they are hand pulled when seedlings they come right up. Not sure how much area the farmers have but it is also safer to hand pull. Herbicides aren't good for the people whom eat the crops.
Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
Rabbit Keeper Bee Lover Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Butterflies Hummingbirder
Dog Lover Birds Plant and/or Seed Trader Bulbs Echinacea Irises
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crittergarden
Jan 9, 2014 3:33 PM CST
Thumbs up
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/

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