Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) 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 most animals. Birds do eat the berries, however, dropping the seeds along the way and allowing the plant to spread.
Use gloves when digging this plant and make sure to get the entire taproot. Because of the toxicity, dispose of the plant in the garbage instead of composting.
Read more about pokeweed.
(Top photo by Jeff McMillian)