White and pink.





Time of Bloom


Flowers: on pedicels; growing in a long raceme. Calyx: of five rounded, petal-like sepals, pinkish on the outside and whitish within. Stamens ten. Pistil: one; styles, ten. The ovary like a green eye. Fruit: a bunch of many purple, juicy berries. Leaves: large; alternate; on long petioles; lanceolate; conspicuously veined; smooth and thin. Stem: five to ten feet high; stocky; smooth. Roots: poisonous.

In the distribution of talents it is not given to every one to be an admirer of pokeweed. Even the long, cylindrical racemes of purple berries that, clustered among the soft green leaves, line many a roadside in the late autumn, fail to call forth the least enthusiasm from these slighted people. To them poke-weed is pokeweed and that is an end of the matter. Mr. Burroughs is fond of pokeweed and says: "What a lusty, royal plant it is ! It never invades cultivated fields but hovers about the borders and looks over the fences like a painted Indian sachem."

Although the bloom is usually ascribed to July and the fruit to September, there are many spots on Long Island and in New Jersey where the plant lingers in blossom until early September. Country people boil the young shoots as greens, and from their accounts of them they quite rival asparagus in delicacy of flavour. The berries also are greatly enjoyed by birds.