common pokeweed
Phytolacca americana L.


Phytolacca americana is a perennial herb with big leaves, a reddish trunk and reddish stems that can grow 6-12 ft. (1.8-3.7 m).
Leaves are large, alternately arranged, smooth, elliptical, and range from 5-20 in. (12.7-50.8 cm) in length. The underside of the leaves, the stems, and the veins are a pink color.
Flowers have 5 white to pink rounded sepals that are 0.25 in. (0.64 cm) wide. They are produced in clusters that are 4-8 in. (10.2-20.3 cm) long. The blooming period begins in early spring and continues into early summer.
Fruits are shiny, rounded, 0.25 in. (0.64 cm) wide, deep purple berries each containing one seed. Seeds are black, 0.13 in. (0.32 cm) wide, and lens shaped.
Ecological Threat
Phytolacca americana is native to all U.S. States except Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, North and South Dakota, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and Wyoming. It is found in open woods, damp thickets, and roadsides. All parts of this plant are toxic to humans, pets, and livestock.

Selected Images


EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit

State Regulated List
   No Data for this state
   Troublesome or Common weed in one or more crops

Most Troublesome / Most Common Agricultural Weed List
This map identifies those states that consider this species either most troublesome or most common in at least one commodity. For more information, visit the MTMC project page.

Invasive Listing Sources

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Caryophyllidae
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Phytolaccaceae
Genus: Phytolacca
Subject: Phytolacca americana L.

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
American pokeweed, common pokeweed, inkberry, pigeonberry, poke, pokeberry, pokeweed


Plants - Forbs/Herbs