American pokeweed
Phytolacca americana

Landscape Uses:

Can be used in natural landscapes and for habitat restorations but can be very weedy and difficult to control.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

Although short-lived and somewhat untidy, pokeweed can be useful as temporary canopy in hammock restoration projects.
Grown by enthusiasts.
Medium to large shrub-like herb with purplish red stems.
About 4-8 feet in height or sometimes more. Often as broad as tall.
Growth Rate:
Widespread in North America (including Mexico) south to the Monroe County Keys; introduced and escaped elsewhere. Very rare in the Monroe County Keys and perhaps absent south of Key Largo.
Forests and disturbed sites.
Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, with humusy top layer.
Nutritional Requirements:
Moderate; can grow in nutrient poor soils, but needs some organic content to thrive.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
High; can tolerate moderate amounts of salt wind without injury.
Drought Tolerance:
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Light Requirements:
Full sun.
Flower Color:
Pink to white with a green center.
Flower Characteristics:
Semi-showy racemes.
Flowering Season:
All year.
Juicy purple berry.
Wildlife and Ecology:
A major colonizer of disturbed sites and tree fall gaps. Provides food for birds.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grwon from de-pulped seed.
It recruits readily from seed in the garden. The young shoots are edible when properly cooked, but otherwise the plant can be deadly if eaten.

Roger L. Hammer
Shirley Denton
Shirley Denton
Shirley Denton
Keith A. Bradley
Keith A. Bradley