Phytolacca americana var. americana   pokeweed
waif                      herbaceous           
Distribution: Greenbelt

UW Burke Herbarium Link: Phytolacca americana var. americana
USDA Plants Link: Phytolacca americana var. americana   (PHAMA3)

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) mysteriously showed up in a disturbed area in Hulls Gulch where invasive Russian-olive had been recently removed; it has also been spotted in an alley in Boise’s North End.  The species is native to eastern North American, where it has a curious culinary story, and although increasingly naturalized west of the Cascades it is not otherwise known from southern Idaho.

Birds can eat the berries and distribute the seeds widely, which is probably how pokeweed made it to Hulls Gulch.  Because the species is potentially invasive, this isolated occurrence is targeted for eradication before it can spread.