Definition of pokeweed in English:


Pronunciation /ˈpōkˌwēd/ /ˈpoʊkˌwid/


  • A North American plant with red stems, spikes of cream flowers, and purple berries.

    Also called poke, inkberry

    Phytolacca americana, family Phytolaccaceae

    ‘Chewing insects can spread the disease from weeds as they feed, so be sure to remove all nearby pokeweed, nightshade, catnip, horsenettle and motherwort.’
    • ‘Flea beetles also feed on many nongarden plants, including Virginia creeper, pokeweed, horse nettle, pigweed and wild mustard family plants.’
    • ‘Some of the most popular berry-producing plants for bluebirds include blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, elderberry, bayberry, dogwood, juniper, Virginia creeper, sumac, pokeweed, mountain ash, and mistletoe.’
    • ‘Flowers appear on stargrass and pokeweed by the end of spring, but remain through October, with the berries of pokeweed ripening in autumn.’
    • ‘Purple pokeweed crowded the edge of the in-ground pool, which was filled with black water.’


Early 18th century poke from Algonquian poughkone.