(Phytolacca americana) Weedy native perennial found in the park. Also known as inkberry or the Jekyll and Hyde of the plant world. Tall (4 to 12 feet) purple-stemmed plant. Leaves can be used as a vegetable if gathered in early spring and the root can be used medicinally however if it is not prepared properly it can be a lethal poison. DON’T EAT! Its spring spikes of tiny greenish white flowers are followed by purple berries. The purple stems and berries can be used to make dye and ink.

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