Invasive species

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)

Eugene 4th and Blair_MD_8-29-15

Pokeweed is a perennial forb that grows in pastures, woodlands and disturbed places. It has a stout, smooth purplish branched stem that can grow up to 8′ tall. The leaves are alternate and the white or green flowers grow in long clusters that develop fleshy berries with crimson juice.  The berries, and especially the roots, are toxic to humans and animals. Birds do eat the berries though, dropping the seeds along the way and allowing the plant to spread.  Use gloves when digging this plant and if you do it yourself, make sure to get the entire taproot.  Because of the toxicity, dispose of the plant in the garbage instead of composting.