POKEBERRY, POKEWEED (from the American-Indian pocan, applied to any plant yielding a red or yellow dye), in botany, the popular name of Phytolacca decandra, a strongsmelling perennial herb, a native of North America, with ovatelanceolate sharp-pointed leaves, racemes of small greenish-white flowers and flattish berries nearly | in. in diameter, which contain a crimson juice. The young asparagus-like shoots are sometimes used as a pot-herb, but the roots are poisonous. The plant is often cultivated in Europe, and has become naturalized in the Mediterranean region.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)