Do not confuse with unrelated similar-named poke milkweed  Asclepias exaltata.

Part of pokeweed  family Phytolaccaceae.

Native to eastern 🇨🇦 Canada, most of the 🇺🇸 USA, and probably some of 🇲🇽 México.  Now widely scattered.   🗺 Map by county (🇺🇸 USA-48) (color key).   Invasive > California

Uses by native peoples
(Ethnobotany database)

☠︎ Poisonous[?] to 👥︎ humans (leaves, berries, and roots).   Tell your 🚼︎ kids not to eat it — they may be attracted to the 🍇︎ berries.

An important food source for 🐦︎ songbirds and other 🐢︎🐇︎🐜︎ animals immune to the toxin in its seeds.

Farmers consider this plant to be a weed.

The 🇺🇸 USA's 📄︎ Declaration of Independence is reported to have been written in fermented pokeberry juice.  (Fermented to make the ink long-lasting.)

Quite striking for its red stems, white flower clusters and green then deep-purple berry clusters.  seems to be a great year for pokeweed — we see it everywhere in the wild, including areas previously observed to be very sparse.

Learn more about American pokeweed Phytolacca americana

🔍︎ 🔍︎ images Discover Life Encyclopedia of Life Michigan Flora Missouri Botanical Garden Missouri Plants Flora of North America NRCS PLANTS db USFS Wikipedia