Daily Flower Candy: Phytolacca polyandra

One of the joys of writing this blog is having the incentive to seek out and learn about new plants. Today, on a training course at our company conference centre, I took some time out to explore the grounds. In the otherwise flagging herbaceous borders I spied these curious fruits and lush leaves, which belonged to a helpfully labelled specimen of Phytolacca polyandra.

Phytolacca polyandra, Odney Club, August 2014

Otherwise known as Chinese pokeweed, Phytolacca polyandra is a robust perennial which first produces white or pale pink flowers in long spikes, a little like a polygonum. These develop into tiny clasps of immature green fruits. The flower stems slowly turn magenta-pink as the fruits, which are toxic, develop a glossy black sheen. How marvellous this exotic plant would look amongst deep purple and pale pink dahlias, or with Sedum ‘Purple Emperor’ and Fuchsia arboresecens. An unusual contender for the late summer border and one which has already joined my extensive wish list.

Have you grown Chinese pokeweed in your garden? If so, I’d love to know more…

Phytolacca polyandra, Odney Club, August 2014

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7 thoughts on “Daily Flower Candy: Phytolacca polyandra

  1. Oh wow, that is gorgeous. Do you know how toxic it is? I have young children so I’m wary about what I grow. I’ve already had one trip to A&E!

    Fab photos, I love the shape of the berries as well as the colour.


  2. Hi, just noticed your website. We have this plant in our garden in Kent and was not aware of its name or toxicity. I notice the birds eating the fruit and unsure wether there is any harm to these small fellows.
    Thank you for the warning. Still a lovely plant to look at.


    1. Thank you for dropping by! Always nice to hear people are finding their way to the blog. I am pretty sure that birds are fine in this instance, they are built of stronger stuff than we are …. and the berries do look very tempting.


  3. ive never heard of it but it looks good,.. you should have got some seeds/cuttings as i cant see it for sale anywhere apart from american websites :/


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