Definition of pokeweed in English:



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

    Phytolacca americana, family Phytolaccaceae

    Also called poke
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Chewing insects can spread the disease from weeds as they feed, so be sure to remove all nearby pokeweed, nightshade, catnip, horsenettle and motherwort.’


Early 18th century: poke from Algonquian poughkone.