St. John's-wort And Wild Carrot Families
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( Originally Published 1908 )
POKEWEED. In little clearings of the woods, especially if a recent fire has destroyed other herbaceous plants, one is pretty sure to find the Poke-weed or Garget growing in abundance. This is probably due to the fact that its seeds are largely distributed through the agency of the birds that eat the berries, and everyone knows that little glades along the borders of woods are favorite haunts of many sorts of birds. The plant comes into flower rather late in summer, the small white blossoms being visited by many sorts of bees and flies. The berries gradually mature until in September they form the conspicuous purple clusters with which most children are familiar. Then they attract the birds in numbers, giving them a rich feast to speed them on their southward way.
The Pokeweed is the only member of its family which is commonly found throughout most of the United States. It was formerly called Pigeon-berry, probably because the fruit was commonly eaten by the wild pigeons which were once so abundant throughout the United States.