Pokeweed, also known as Pokeberry (Phytolacca Americana), a perennial plant that grows up to 6-8 feet in height. Like most weed, it is a hardy plant that can withstand poor soil conditions and is considered a pest in some parts of the country. It is a beneficial plant as some birds love the berries and it attracts pollinating insects to your garden.
The part that is used for dyeing is the clusters of deep purple berries that hung on reddish stems. The purple berries are pressed to extract the juice. When mixed with water and a mordant, such as salt or vinegar the juice becomes a dye solution.
A word of caution: Although pokeweed is used medicinally, it is still considered poisonous and a risk to human and animal health; as the toxins are concentrated in the roots, berries and seeds. The berries may be tempting to young children, so it is best to plant it away from sidewalks.
Following are pictures from last summer depicting the results I got from pokeberry dye bath, extracted from the berries.
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