London (change)
Today 5°C / 3°C
Tomorrow 6°C / 2°C
9 messages
18/10/2013 at 13:48

This plant appeared earlier in the year on a dry bank and has grown to about 4 ft. I have never seen it ever before and cannot believe I bought it, so wonder if a seed was dropped by a bird? It is extremely striking with large oval leaves, a cerise red stem and bears tall conicles of what look like blackcurrents?  Does anyone have any idea what it is? I attach a photo taken this morning. Many thanks


18/10/2013 at 13:59

Phytolacca americana. Lovely thing, seeds around a bit. Don't eat it.

18/10/2013 at 14:08

It's Indian Pokeweed (Phytolacca esculenta). Please, be careful with it as it's poisonous to children and mammals though birds can eat them. Besides that, stains are very hard to remove from paving and out of your new white blouse ( and also any clothes)

18/10/2013 at 16:54

Is it really Pokeweed then..I did try and search on the Internet and it seemed similar BUT these fruits stick up vertical, do not arch downwards? The pictures I have seen seem to show them falling downwards? I thought Pokeweed was grown only in warmer climbs?  Thank you so so much though for this information

18/10/2013 at 17:16

Yes you are all right, I have checked the photos and there seems to be one or two varieties. They are found mostly in south england on waste land and churchyards!  Think it best to get rid of it as so poisonous although have rather enjoyed its grandeur during the summer! Thanks again!

18/10/2013 at 17:19

Definitely one of the phytolaccas though I thought it was different one from Flowerchild.

Mine was grown from a packet labelled P. americana but I have seen some so called that don't look quite like mine.


18/10/2013 at 17:46

There are some in my Mum's garden that have survived the last few cold winters.  She thinks it arrived with bird food.

18/10/2013 at 17:54

It is only toxic if you eat it.

In fact the very young stems of P. esculenta were eaten, cooked like Asparagus.

I like the plant myself, we have a few dotted around, but we do not have anyone visiting who is daft enough to eat the berries.


18/10/2013 at 17:58

 My guess would be from the back end of a bird rather than bird food

They're very hardy

email image
9 messages