Weeds: Pokeweed: Phytolacca americana

categories: I-Po Weeds

revision date: 2024-06-22 08:16

  • Family: Phytolaccaceae
  • Cycle: Perennial
  • Plant type: Broadleaf
Pokeweed plant.
Pokeweed plant
Photo by: K. Volkov


Pokeweed is a shrub-like herbaceous perennial. It can grow quickly to a height of up to 10′ in one year. The central stem bears egg-shaped leaves which can range from 6″-12″ in length. Leaves are alternate and have pointed ends and crinkled edges. Pokeweed stems are reddish. It has a carrot-like taproot. The entire plant dies back to the ground in the fall. Pokeweed blooms during the summer. The flowers are in greenish-white long clusters (racemes. By late summer, berries have begun to form, at first green and later purplish-black. SPECIAL INFORMATION: The berries and roots are highly poisonous to humans.


Pokeweed does well in either full sun or partial shade. It can grow on a wide range of soil types.

Management Options

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Hand remove first-year plants early in the growing season. The large taproot makes it difficult to remove established plants.
  • Cut plants numerous times during the growing season each year until controlled.

Chemical Management

IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.

  • Apply a systemic herbicide to the foliage in late summer.

Landscape areas

  • glyphosate

Turf areas

  • No products approved for use in turf.

Bare ground areas

  • glyphosate

Additional Images