Purple pokeweed – nature’s punch of color with a touch of danger

by Kate Shunney

Clusters of dark purple berries look extra appetizing in the fall as trees and shrubs are losing their color. In a dry spell, pokeweed’s bright red stems and berries are a real stand out plant in fields and at the edge of forest openings and dirt roads.

Pokeweed is native to our part of the world. Some say its name – poke – is a version of the Algonquin word “pocan” or “puccoon” meaning a plant that contains dye.

Deep purple . . .