• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Phytolacca americana

American pokeweed

American pokeweed

© RHS

  • Other common names American pokeweed
    American nightshade

    cancer jalap
    chon grass
    coakum
    cokan
    crimson-berry plant
    crowberry
    dyer's grapes
    garget
    inkberry
    pigeon berry
    poke
    pokeberry
    poke root
    poke salad
    pokeweed
    red ink plant
    red weed
    scoke
    skoke
    Virginian poke
    Virginian pokeweed

    see more
  • Synonyms Phytolacca decandra

  • Family Phytolaccaceae

  • Genus Phytolacca are herbaceous perennials, shrubs or trees, with simple leaves, small flowers in erect or drooping spike-like racemes are followed by glossy, fleshy fruits

  • Details P. americana is an upright herbaceous perennial with oval or lance-shaped mid-green leaves, tinged with purple in autumn. White-pink flowers appear in racemes from mid-summer to early autumn, followed by crimson-black berries in autumn

  • Plant range USA

Characteristics

  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Columnar/Upright

  • Toxicity Contact with the sap may irritate skin, all parts may cause a severe reaction if ingested, and the fruit is highly toxic

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)

    H7

Colour

Sunlight

  • Full Sun

  • Partial Shade

  • Aspect South-facing or West-facing or East-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered

Soil

  • Clay

    Clay

  • Loam

    Loam

  • MoistureMoist but well-drained

  • SoilClay, Loam

  • pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral

Size

  • Ultimate height 2.5-4 metres

  • Ultimate spread 1-1.5 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 2-5 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow in any fertile moist soil in sun or partial shade

Propagation Propagate by seed in early spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types Cottage & Informal Garden

How to care

Pruning No pruning required

Pests Generally pest-free

Diseases May be prone to virus diseases

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