Thursday, 29 September 2016

Pokeberry and Echium Blooms

The Pokeberry weed, or Pokeweed berries begin to ripen in August and September, and it's at it's most colourful now, in greater or lesser stages of development, even on the same plant. It attracts many birds and insects to its berries,  and although every part of the Pokeberry is poisonous to humans,  birds and insects are imune to the poison, and some small animals, such as rats and mice are unaffected by it's toxins.
 
 

The Pokeberry  Phytolacca americana.
 

The Pokeberry can reach a height of 20 feet, or more,.....
 


 

the juice of the red berries has been employed as an ink, and dye,...
 

and  the Pokeberries, have long been thought to have medicinal value. At one time it was used to treat boils and acne,...
 

and Pokeweed leaves and roots have been used in folk medicine for centuries, for the treatment of chronic rheumatism.
 

Today, Pokeweed is being researched as a possible treatment for cancer.
 


The Echium candicans   (pride of Madeira) in bud form.
Mine are about seven year old, but the soft wood cuttings I took are doing well.
 

The showy flower spikes of this evergreen plant are a beautiful blue colour. It covers a large area, so you will need to plant it in a sunny spot with lots of space. It is drought resistant. Each plant can have as many as twenty or more blooms.
 
Joining Denise at Todays flowers, just click on the link to go there.
TODAY'S FLOWERS

47 comments:

Christine said...

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing your wonderful photos of the pokeberry and learning about it.
Very interesting that rats and mice are immune to its poison.
The bees and butterflies really love your Echium flowers and they are a brilliant blue!
Enjoy your day!

Sandra said...

those poke berries are beautiful, did not know about the ink and dye but I do know they make a mess if they fall on concrete or driveway. and the birds used to poop the red stuff every where when we lived in Georgia.. we are all doing well, my eye is fine and next thursdy I get the other one done.

Nancy Chan said...

Pretty poke berries especially when they ripen. They look delicious though poisonous. The insects are enjoying the flowers.

Denise inVA said...

Marvelous photos! Those flowers and the last shot with the butterfly and bee is super, as are the macros of the pokeweed. Interesting info about them. Thank you for visiting and yes please, I welcome everything to do with fauna for Today's Flowers. Thanks for asking :)

Prunella Pepperpot said...

Just read Eilleens post and had to google pokeberries as I'd never heard of them before.
Your images are gorgeous and if you didn't know the pokeberries were harmless they do look delicious enough to eat.
Your echium candicans is so beautiful, another first which I will now have to go and goole. The butterfly and bee on the blue is stunning.
Have a wonderful Thursday :)

Tom said...

The Echium candicans is new for me. Pokeweed is a pretty thing that farmers here love to hate! Interesting that it could be put to good use. Thanks for stopping by my blog...more barns to come.

matti juhani niilola said...

Hello. Awesome berry. In nature there are a lot of medicinal plants. Plants should be able to take advantage of more.

Linda said...

Fascinating and really beautiful! I love how you are able to identify them as well.

Anvilcloud said...

Nice progression of photos.

Gosia k said...

it is very interesting plant

Debbie said...

interesting, very interesting!!! another "fun" fact, my birds eat those berries and then the poop blueberry colored poop. it stains the sidewalk.

the last image is especially beautiful, a two-fer!!!!!

TexWisGirl said...

eileen shared pokeberries today, too! :)

Mildred said...

Very interesting about the pokeberry. I enjoyed all of your photographs.

magnoliasntea said...

What a lovely post! I enjoyed the photos, especially the pokeberry (Can't bring myself to refer to it as a weed.;) as it grows on our property, and I've used it to dye yarn. Beautiful Echium, also. Enjoyed reading the story of how you became a photographer, also. Thank you for stopping by my site.
Have a glorious weekend!
Toni

Terri @ Coloring Outside the Lines said...

We have this growing on our fence lines- it is quite messy to clean up. Your last photo is just gorgeous. Have a great Friday!

Marleen said...

I'm not sure I've seen the pokeberry before. It's eyecatching!

Sharon Wagner said...

I hope they can put the weed to good use. In the cancer regimen.

riitta k said...

Fabulous photos. I have never seen a pokeberry! Once I had some beautiful Echium but they don't tolerate our climate.

Your banner photo is stunning!

Seraphinas Phantasie said...

Marvelous photos of this wild berries. Amazing !

Len said...

I will look out for the Pokeberry and Echium because I will be on the Algarve next week. Maybe I'll see a Stonechat too!

Missy George said...

Your photography is wonderful..

Belén Menéndez Solar said...

Thank you for your visit. Butterflies never stop visiting your beautiful garden. Greetings from Asturias.

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

I'm seeing very little pokeberry here in Illinois. They are very attractive to some warbler species, especially Tennessee Warblers, so I have not seen any of them either!I wonder if they undergo cycles of abundance and decline.

hmuxo said...

I have never heard of these and welcome the thought of them being used for medicinal purposes!!! I have always said your photography is amazing as well!!!!

Teresa said...

El tajinastes, esta precioso. Besos.

Vilt og vakkert said...

Heisann, astonishing! What an interesting plant! We must take care of it´s potensial. Thanks for visiting my blog, I will now explore your earlier posts! Have a nice weekend ;:OD)

Karin M. said...

Das war ein sehr interessanter und schöner Beitrag.
Liebe Grüße, Karin

Pauline W said...

Thanks for your visit. I thought your pokeberry might be what we call the inkberry but, Mr Google tells me they are merely similar, yours has much bigger leaves and flowering/fruiting clusters. I'd never thought they would photograph so well, though. Will look out for some in summer. I love the true blue colour of the Echium.

jandi said...

This was very interesting! And your photos are gorgeous! Have a beautiful day!

Gunilla Bäck said...

Wonderful photos! The berries are very pretty.

Mike Attwood said...

Very interesting, I've never come across them before. Hope you are feeling better. Mike.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

How beautiful that blue flower is with the bee and butterfly enjoying its sweet nectar. And the poke berry is a wonderful plant ... Beautiful in all seasons . I am interested to know about the healing properties of plants...I sometimes think it is too bad we don't make more use of ancient wisdom!

Wendy said...

Such an interesting post with some lovely photos.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

First, love the stonechat in your previous post [I'm trying to catch up with you somewhat]....
Second, this is an awesome and showy bush. Twenty feet....wow. And oh so colorful. Love the flower with the butterfly.

Thanks so much for the condolences of our losing Winston!! Much appreciated.

Tammie Lee said...

such a beautiful plant.
You have portrayed it wonderfully!

David Gascoigne said...

It's always amazing when certain toxins have no effect whatsoever on other organisms but are noxious to us, sometimes fatal even. Cedar Waxwiings here are known to consume berries containing agents that would kill humans but they process this food without difficulty. I wonder how many humans in times past consumed the berries, unaware of the peril, and died.

Mary Cromer said...

Thank you so much for your visit to Tingsgrove. I love this photos, your images are so beautiful. I especially like the bottom two absolutely glorious. Have a great week~

Villrose said...

Good-looking berries (just to look on)!
The Echium I have seen on Madeira. A majestic plant!

Carol said...

Hello Breathtaking,

I have enjoyed clicking through your beautiful blog. I have been researching Algarve as a place I might like to visit in future. I was on Nick Morgan's site which led me here. I have been out of the blogging world for sometime but think I have visited you before. Your photography is stunning and I would love to see your paintings. Lovely to have found you again.
Best,
Carol Duke

Stewart M said...

They do look a tempting meal - I wonder how many people got sick before somebody worked out what the problem was!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Small Kucing said...

I have been eating these malabar spinach since young. Didnt know the seeds is called this. Yup..it stain clothing

bettyl-NZ said...

What a flashback! My mom used to cook 'polk salad' (or poke salat, depending on who you ask!) when I was a kid. I didn't appreciate them then, but I do like cooked greens now.
That blue flower is simply gorgeous!

Helma said...

Wow ....... this've really captured quite nicely. Very nice to see off this from the beginning and prosperity to it toto. Pretty sharp and beautiful clear pictures. My compliments.

Greetings, Helma

Mary Brown said...


What a pity that the mice are not affected by these berries! I hate them.

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Fantastic pictures.. Cheers..

Richard Pegler said...

Beautiful fruits and flowers, Sonjia, expertly photographed!

Small Kucing said...

Opps...i thought pokeweed is same as red malabar spinach as their stems and seeds looks similar. Thanks for highlighting the difference. 😊

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