Poke, Pokeberry, Inkberry, Pigeonberry, Redweed
Pokeweed is a native plant found throughout Virginia. Pokeweed berries are a popular food source for birds such as catbirds, mockingbirds, cardinals, thrashers, doves, and waxwings. The juice from the berries can be made into dye or ink, which is why one of the names for the plant is "inkberry". The toxins from Pokeweed are being studied as a possible means for controlling Zebra Muscles, an invasive species that is damaging harbors, power plants, and water treatment facilities in the United States. A dish called "poke salad", which is made from Pokeweed, is the focus of festivals held in a number of small communities in the southern United States.
Return to the Index