the barn in fall

the barn in fall

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


A few years ago one of these plants appeared in my pasture by the manure pile.  It was pretty and amazingly fast growing - you could almost see daily progress.  (click on the photo to enlarge; it's a majestic weed!)

It quickly grew to 7 or 8 feet, and had green berries that turned to shiny black in the fall, eaten by birds.
The berries make a red ink or dye.
Wikipedia "fact" - the U.S. constituion was written with ink made from pokeberries.

Another fact, this one from personal experience:  pokeweed is prolific.  It loves horse manure and urine-soaked wood shavings.  This is now my manure pile every summer:

It's covered with a tangle of pokeweed.  The roots are buried so deeply in manure there's no getting them out, and weed killers barely faze it.  What's the point in waging a war I can never win?  I've decided to like it.  Pokeweed is part of my green contribution to the local wildlife.

But any stray berries that take root in my pasture are ruthlessly mowed to shreds.  Two manure piles make for quite enough pokeweed.

1 comment:

  1. I will deal with the poke weed over the poison ivy anyway... we have poke weed, now spanning across three back yards in my urban neighborhood.