03.30.2015 Steve S poked me for this post

The other day, Steve Schwartzman, posted an image of pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)and in replying to my comment observed that I had never posted any of my images of the flower.

Poke is the original name but, as many people don’t care for the plant, weed has been added over the years and it is also known by many others (Virginia poke, American nightshade, cancer jalap, coakum, garget, inkberry, pigeon berry, pocan, pokeroot, pokeberry, redweed, scoke, red ink plant).  Generally considered poisonous, if prepared with great care, some of its parts are edible, but it seems more work than worth and the risk of a mistake makes it prudent to just admire the plant…as long as it is not taking over your land or poisoning your cattle.

Admiring the plant is my game.  We have several spots in our thinly wooded area where they thrive as well as on open land and I am able to find them in many places locally for photography.

I find the flowers particularly lovely….

Pokeweed-071414-600WebAnd the fruits as well….


Pokeberry ReflectionsAs you can tell by the type fonts, these were all done at different dates.

Even when all the fruits have fallen, the remaining bare flower stems are an attractive.  I know, you’re expecting a picture.  Maybe next year.  😉


About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Closeup Photography, Flora, macro photography, Nature Photography, Wildflowers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to 03.30.2015 Steve S poked me for this post

  1. Jim in IA says:

    I like the little ray bursts on the bottom of the berries. Nice close-ups. Next time I see them here, I will look for those.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice work. I really like the last one. It is somewhat other worldly.


  3. krikitarts says:

    I know I’ve seen the plant before, but I don’t think I ever knew what it was. The color of the stems in the fruit-bearing stage is so outrageous that it practically screams its toxicity.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your clarity in all three images is commendable.


  5. Indeed~nothing pokey about your pokeweed photos 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Andrew says:

    These are rather special Steve. Well worth showing. Thanks to Steve S for the poke.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. These are marvelous and beautiful macros of the pokeberry. Here in Central Texas it’s generally called pokeberry or pokeweed and I have it growing in several places in my yard. The mockingbirds especially like the berries. Two or three mockers will be eating berries at the same time from the largest bush which is over 6 feet tall and about 4 feet across. In my humble opinion, it’s a native plant that should be growing in any bird lover’s yard/garden.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t seen birds eating these, but it is obvious that someone does. I am always surprised at the edibility of fruits for some species where the food would sicken or kill another. Evolution at work. I love mockingbirds.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Lyle Krahn says:

    You convinced me.


  9. I recognized the fruits immediately and didn’t make the association with the flowers which, I suppose, I never taken the time to admire. Thanks for taking the time to post these. D

    Liked by 1 person

    • Have you had problems with livestock getting sick from these, David?

      There are many things existing on the periphery of our awareness that surprise us once we take a moment to observe them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • When we had goats we used to worry about them jumping the fences, getting out of the pastures and into the hedgerow. That never happened. All of our pastures are fenced and maintained so they only grow orchard grass and a (very) little bit of alfalfa and Timothy … anything else is removed! I’m guessing that Starlings must eat the berries (in abundance) because of the horrid purple paste that gets deposited on my truck at the time of year the stuff is in fruit! D

        Liked by 1 person

  10. BuntyMcC says:

    Great photos and a sobering toxicity lesson. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lottie Nevin says:

    These are stunning. Just the sort of plant that I love to put in to my drawings. I’m going to bookmark this post and try to remember to use your pimp weed in a future picture. Thanks, Steve!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. shoreacres says:

    First I had to remember where I heard pimp used in conversation the past day or so. Now I remember: in the film, “The Second, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” In context, it was amusing, not offensive, and the movie was wonderful. (See “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” first, though. There are a lot of references you’ll miss otherwise.)

    I just can’t get over these photos. The first two are especially appealing, partly because the colors are so different at the different stages. You’ve done a wonderful job of highlighting the difference. I’ve always thought the pearl milkweed flower would make the best earrings, but these pokeweed flowers would do well, too. They’re just beautiful.


    • I have seen the first movie of the Marigold series (I guess that is what it will be until they make a clinker) but have not seen the second yet.

      Thanks for your enthusiasm for the images, Linda. These are delightful flowers and as far as making earrings from them…well, no one will eat them.


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