Family, Pokeweed. Color, white. Leaves, large, smooth, thick, oval, pointed, veiny, alternate. Calyx of 5 white sepals, with a pink tint on the outside. Corolla, wanting. Stamens, 10, giving the specific name. Styles, 10. Ovary, green, conspicuous, forming in fruit a 10-celled berry, with a single seed in each cell, surrounded with purplish juice. A tall weed, 5 to 10 feet high, with stout, upright stems and flowers in racemes, rank-stemmed, with a broad, poisonous root. The berries cannot be poisonous, for birds eat them. July to September.
This is one of the plants that springs up in burned-over districts. In one season such blackened ground bears myriads of gargets where none was seen before. They also like to creep up' near dwellings. I have in mind one which grows back of a country church, close to its wall, always in the shade, reaching the pulpit window with its tall stem.
"Its cylindrical racemes of berries of various hues, from green to dark purple, 6 or 7 inches long, are gracefully drooping on all sides, offering repasts to the birds, and even the sepals from which the birds have picked the berries are a brilliant lake-red, with crimson, flame-like reflections, equal to anything of the kind - all on fire with ripeness." - Thoreau.