A tall, strong-smelling, succulent and glabrous plant with an erect herbaceous stem 3 to 10 feet tall, from a large, perennial, poisonous root, the pith of the stem divided into discs separated by lens-shaped cavities. Leaves oblong-lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate, pinnately veined, acute or acuminate at both ends, petioled, 5 to 12 inches long. Flowers in terminal racemes, which become opposite the leaves by continued growth of the stem. Each flower about one-fourth of an inch broad, consisting of four or five rounded, white sepals; ten stamens, slightly shorter than the sepals; and a ten-celled green ovary. Fruit a long raceme of dark-purple berries, each one-fourth to three-eighths of an inch in diameter.

Memoir 15 N. Y. State Museum

Plate 50 poke; scoke; pigeon berry; garget

Phytolacca americana

Phytolacca americana

In waste places, fields, woods and thickets, usually in moist soil, often in stony fields and frequently a troublesome weed. Distributed from Maine and Ontario to Minnesota, Arkansas, Florida, Mexico and Bermuda. Europe has contributed many weeds to America, but the Pokeweed or Scoke is one of the few American plants, often reckoned as a weed, which has become thoroughly naturalized in many parts of Europe.