Pokeweed is also called pokeberry. My Audubon book describes it as, "A tall, large-
leaved, branching plant with reddish stems and long clusters of small, white flowers." It
flowers from July to September. When the berries are ripe, kids like to squish them into
their friends' clothes and make as many permanent stains as possible. The picture at the
bottom was taken in mid-October.
The Audibon adds, "This is frequently a troublesome weed with poisonous berries and
roots, although emerging shoots can be gathered before the pink color appears, cooked,
and eaten as greens. The berry juice was used as a dye by the early colonists and to
improve cheap wine."
So there you go -- but if you die from using this dye in your box wine, remember, you didn't
hear this idea from me.
Wildflower Menu HOME