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Phytolacca americana Linnaeus. Common Pokeweed, Inkberry, Scoke, Pigeonberry. Phen: May-Nov. Hab: In a wide variety of natural and disturbed habitats, usually associated with exposed mineral soil. Dist: ME, ON, s. MN, and NE south to FL and sc. TX, southwards in Mexico (mainly Sierra Madre Oriental) to OAX.

Origin/Endemic status: Native

Other Comments: An abundant ‘native weed’ occurring throughout e. North America, P. americana is widely dispersed by birds and quickly colonizes exposed mineral soil even in undisturbed forests, such as on tree-fall tip-up mounds or flood scours. It is most abundant, however, as a weed of urban, suburban, and agricultural disturbances. The berries and mature stems are poisonous; the young stems have been used as a potherb and the purple berries as a source of ink.

Synonymy: = C, F, G, GrPl, Il, Mi, Pa, S, Tat, Tn, W, WV, Hardin (1964a), Rogers (1985); = Phytolacca americana L. var. americana – Ar, FNA4, K1, K3, K4, NE, NY, Va, Caulkins & Wyatt (1990); < Phytolacca americana L. – Fl5, GW2, NcTx, RAB, Tx, WH3, Rzedowski & Calderon de Rzedowski (2000); < Phytolacca decandra L. – S13, misapplied

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Wetland Indicator Status:

  • Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain: FACU (taxonomic split from wetland indicator species)
  • Eastern Mountains and Piedmont: FACU
  • Great Plains: FACU (taxonomic split from wetland indicator species)
  • Midwest: FACU (taxonomic split from wetland indicator species)
  • Northcentral & Northeast: FACU (taxonomic split from wetland indicator species)

Heliophily: 7

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image of plant© Bruce A. Sorrie | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Tracie L. Jeffries | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Bryan England | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Keith Bradley | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Gary P. Fleming | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Erik Danielson source | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Erik Danielson source | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Keith Bradley | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Erik Danielson source | Original Image ⭷

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