The berries are full of a bright red staining liquid. The name comes from an Indian word "pokan" which means any plant used to produce a red or yellow dye.
Not normally sold in greenhouses, pokeweed is usually spread when a bird eats the berries and poops the seeds. The seeds are toxic to humans but it attracts many songbirds, woodpeckers, waxwings, cardinals, bluebirds, robins, doves and more.
Scientists are also looking at the pokeweed antiviral protein (PAP) immunotoxin, a natural product in the pokeweed plant, as a cure for childhood leukemia.