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Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) is an American weed that is native to the eastern part of the United States and has been used for centuries by Native American tribes. Even in recent years, this plant has been used for food, but the plant is considered toxic. The green leaves of the plant have been used in salads. Since it is deemed to be toxic, this practice has been stopped in many parts of the world. Pokeweed is a herbaceous perennial plant that often sprouts in the spring of the year. This weed is very easy to identify and stands out from the rest of the plants it grows around.

Characteristics of Pokeweed

Pokeweed is a tall-growing plant that can reach great heights. It is not uncommon for pokeweed to grow as tall as eight feet in the right conditions. This plant can have dark green to purple colored leaves, that are simple but large in nature. One of the common characteristics of pokeweed is its long taproot that grows deep into the ground. The flowers of this plant can be both green and white. During the production of fruit small to medium-sized berries appear and are very dark in color. Many different birds use this plant as a food source, which is why some people choose to let it grow on their property. But pokeweed can take over large areas of land and shade out any lower growing plants including any grasses. Birds often spread this plant for many miles after eating the berries and depositing the seeds in the air.

Controlling Pokeweed

Pokeweed is easy to control if proper lawn maintenance procedures are in place. Since the plant can be very toxic in nature, it is a wise move to have it professionally removed from your property by a lawn service that offers weed control. Pokeweed can be easily mowed down when it is, in the beginning, stages of life, but once it has reached a mature height, it can be tough to control. Herbicides and other chemicals can be used to significantly reduce the damage caused by this towering weed. Lawn care procedures should be adjusted if pokeweed is spotted. Early eradication is the only sure way a homeowner can safely get rid of this weed. Farmers, on the other hand, have a harder time controlling pokeweed because it can grow among crops and go unnoticed until it has reached great heights.