Source: California Invasive Plant Council

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Phytolacca americana (common pokeweed)

Phytolacca americana
Phytolacca americana
Photo courtesy Joseph DiTomaso

Phytolacca americana (common pokeweed) is a tall perennial forb/herb (family Scrophulariaceae) that invades disturbed sites throughout most of California except the Great Basin and deserts. In the Southern U.S., specially prepared shoots and berries with the seeds removed are used in foods. However, all parts of the plant can be fatally toxic to humans and livestock.

Cal-IPC Inventory rating: Limited

Cal-IPC Resources on Phytolacca americana

Cal-IPC News Articles

  • None for this species.

Cal-IPC Symposium Proceedings

  • Antonio, C. D. and J. Gerlach (2003). Annual grasses: Status of biology and control. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2003. Kings Beach, CA.
  • Clines, J., J. DiTomaso, et al. (2004). Grasses working group. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2004. Ventura, CA.
  • Corbin, J. D., M. Thomsen, et al. (2004). Out of the frying pan: Invasion of exotic perennial grasses in coastal prairies. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2004. Ventura, CA.
  • Stafford, M., S. Farrell, et al. (2006). Control of Phalaris aquatica on lowland coastal terrace prairie in Richmond, CA. Cal-IPC Symposium. Rohnert Park, CA.
  • Thomsen, C. D., W. A. Williams, et al. (1996). Yellow starthistle management with grazing, mowing, and competitive plantings. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium '96. San Diego, CA.

Other Resources on Phytolacca americana

  • USDA PLANTS database - Federal database with information on identification and distribution, and links to websites in individual states.
  • Jepson Online Interchange for California Flora - Information on taxonomy, biology, and distribution from the UC Berkeley Jepson Herbarium.
  • CalFlora - Distribution information by county based on submitted observations and herbarium specimens.
  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.