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This unusual plant has a striking appearance when mature because of the bright reddish purple coloration of the stems. It is possibly a sign to migrating birds that the berries are ripe. The individual flowers are also attractive when they are viewed up-close. However, Pokeweed is usually dismissed as a mere weed, even though the berries have considerable ecological value to many songbirds. The purple juice of the berries has been used as a food coloring. Pioneers used the young leaves as a potherb and the roots for medicinal purposes, but neither of these practices can be recommended. Return


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers


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