Weed of the Week- Pokeweed

Pokeweed, Phytolacca americana

Common Pokeweed is a native perennial plant often found in pastures and fence rows.  The large, fleshy taproot makes the plant more difficult to kill, so early control is beneficial.  The stem is normally red and becomes hollow as the plant matures, leaves are long and dark green, flowers are green to white, and the mature berries are deep purple to black.  Although rarely considered a noxious weed, all parts of the plant contain saponins, oxalates, and phytolacine.  Livestock consuming large amounts of pokeweed may display symptoms of colic or diarrhea, so be sure to provide adequate forage for grazing and do not over graze pastures.