Bike path: Pokeweed

This time of year, pokeweed are all along the bike path calling out for attention with their bright pink stems and deep purple berries. They are like 60’s fashion models in lime green dresses and hot pink tights, with bead jewelry to match.

Indians used the pokeweed berry juices for staining feathers, arrowshafts and garments. The plant’s roots and berries are regarded as poisonous when eaten by humans, but Indians and early American settlers used the root in poultices and remedies for skin diseases and rheumatism.

9 thoughts on “Bike path: Pokeweed

  1. Pokeweed come up uninvited in my flower beds, reminding me a little of Jack and the beanstalk; they get pretty tall! Your photo’s make me think I should look at them with a less jaundiced eye 🙂


  2. What pretty photos! The colors remind me of our native Northwestern plant, salal–the berries are a similar color and there are pink tones to the stems. Right now the salal’s older leaves are dark green but my resident plant is also getting new growth that is bright lime green so it’s quite a stunner!

  3. Hello Sally

    I’m not new to your site, have been watching your brilliant work for ages. Just wanted to say how I enjoyed these photos, especially as I have always wondered, when reading North American literature, what poke berries look like. Very beautiful is the answer!

  4. I always learn something here! LOL After having lived outside of the country for almost 30 years – I am woefully lacking in my understanding of the local flora and fauna. But I see this everywhere. Now, I can impress others by pointing and saying – “oh, look the Pokeweed is beautiful isn’t it?” And I am serious! Thank you! It is everywhere around our little pond and knowing the name just makes me one more step closer to feeling back at home!

  5. What beautiful photos! They always make me think of the many warnings received as a child about how poisonous they are to mammals but not to birds. Poke weed is a really pretty plant. Your photos really highlight that.

  6. Wow, thanks. I was just describing this to my friend yesterday asking her what it was called. We have this growing all over our property. I think it is beautiful but neither of us knew what it was called.

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