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Phytolacca americana

Pokeweed

Reader rating

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Key information

Plant type

Hardy perennial

Flower colour

White

Feature

Flowers, Fruit

Hardiness

Hardy

Skill level

Experienced

photo by Dianna Jazwinski, copyright GAP Photos (40780)

Plant details

Pokeweed, also known as red ink plant, is an unpleasant-smelling perennial. It has red stems and large leaves that are tinged purple in autumn. From mid-summer it produces spikes of white to pink flowers which later develop into dark maroon berries. Becareful with this plant as the berries are highly toxic if swallowed and the sap can be an irritant.

Family: Phytolaccaceae

Genus: Phytolacca

Species: americana

Plant type: Hardy perennial

Flower colour: White

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Feature: Flowers, Fruit

Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade

Soil: Well-drained/light, Moist

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Experienced

Height: 400cm

Spread: 100cm

Time to plant seeds: March to May


Reader reviews

Sarah King4

I bought this plant to go in a difficult area. We are quite dry in East Anglia and I could not get anything to grow in the narrow bed by the front door. The pokeweed has grown well and I think it is very attractive with its purple stems, green foliage and racemes of small purple flowers which form into dark berries. So far, it has not spread everywhere. It has lasted over winter last year but it was mild. Not sure whether to cut it back in autumn but we had enjoyed it this last 2 years.


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