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Herbaceous Perennial

Phytolacca americana

American pokeweed

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

Other common names
American nightshade
cancer jalap
see morechon grass
coakum
cokan
crimson-berry plant
crowberry
dyer's grapes
garget
inkberry
pigeon berry
poke
poke root
poke salad
pokeberry
pokeweed
red ink plant
red weed
scoke
skoke
Virginian poke
Virginian pokeweed
Synonyms
Phytolacca decandra

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Size
Ultimate height
2.5–4 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
1–1.5 metres
Growing conditions
Clay
Loam
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green Red Green
Summer Green Red Pink White Green
Autumn Pink White Green Purple Black Purple
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Phytolaccaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Columnar upright
Potentially harmful
Contact with the sap may irritate skin, all parts may cause a severe reaction if ingested, and the fruit is highly toxic. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling
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

Name status

Correct

Plant range
USA

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 and informal garden
Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

Generally pest-free

Diseases

May be prone to virus diseases

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