Blue Black Berries in Fall -- Pokeweed - Knowledgebase Question

Schenectady, NY
Question by plathny
September 8, 1998
What kind of berries are these? The bush is red stemmed and the berries grow like an ear of corn, with green berries that turn blue-black, and are now getting ripe. Show what berry bush looks like with fruit on it, I have bushes that are red stemed with green berries that turn blue black, and they grow like an ear of corn or grapes on a corn cob, a color photo with each item would make it easy to know.

Answer from NGA
September 8, 1998


I think you are describing pokeweed, Phytolacca americana (decandra), a fairly common large wild plant with berries which color in late summer to early fall. Here are some images of the plant in various stages of growth: . Unfortunately, I could not find a photo of the P.americana berries when ripe. Instead, here is a photo of the ripe berries on it's cousin Phytolacca sandwicensis, -- they look very similar. Please be aware that the plants are considered poisonous.

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