pokeweed

noun

poke·​weed ˈpōk-ˌwēd How to pronounce pokeweed (audio)
: a poisonous American perennial herb (Phytolacca americana of the family Phytolaccaceae, the pokeweed family) with racemose white flowers, dark purple juicy berries, and young shoots sometimes used as potherbs

Examples of pokeweed in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Native perennials such as pokeweed and Virginia creeper are also good sources of healthy fuel. Tovah Martin, Washington Post, 16 Nov. 2023 The mottled beans that are parboiled and salted, the toxic pokeweed cooked into tasty greens, the dumplings wrapped in hickory leaves and tied with stalks of rush — these, like the milkies, are meant to be shared. Jacey Fortin Mike Belleme, New York Times, 21 Oct. 2023 The main stems on mature pokeweed can become very thick by the end of the growing season and can flush a hot pink to nearly red. Miri Talabac, Baltimore Sun, 21 July 2023 According to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, at least 30 bird species eat pokeweed seeds. Miri Talabac, Baltimore Sun, 21 July 2023 And his recipes are all intriguing – biscuits and tea cakes to feasts showcasing pigs feet, cracklins, and pokeweed. Monitor Staff, The Christian Science Monitor, 9 Apr. 2018 Songs have been written extolling pokeweed’s virtues. Dave Taft, New York Times, 5 Oct. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pokeweed.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1751, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pokeweed was in 1751

Dictionary Entries Near pokeweed

Cite this Entry

“Pokeweed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pokeweed. Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

pokeweed

noun
poke·​weed ˈpō-ˌkwēd How to pronounce pokeweed (audio)
: an American herb with spikes of white flowers, dark purple juicy berries, a poisonous root, and young shoots sometimes used as greens

Medical Definition

pokeweed

noun
poke·​weed ˈpō-ˌkwēd How to pronounce pokeweed (audio)
: a poisonous American perennial herb (Phytolacca americana of the family Phytolaccaceae, the pokeweed family) that has stalks of white flowers, dark purple juicy berries, and a root from which is obtained a mitogen that has been used to stimulate lymphocyte proliferation

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