I've seen this weird purple berry plant before, yet this year, it seems to be popping up everywhere. According to many sources, it is highly toxic.

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The two most poisonous parts of the plant are the berries and the root and according to this quote from Wikipedia, the effects of ingesting the toxin are no joke.

"If taken internally, pokeweed is a slow acting but a violent emetic. Vomiting usually starts about 2 hours after the plant or parts of it have been eaten. Severe cases of poisoning result in purging, spasms, and sometimes convulsions. If death occurs, it is usually due to paralysis of the respiratory organs. Cases of animal or human poisoning should be handled by a veterinarian or a physician."

- Michael Owen; Iowa State University Extension Service

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I wouldn't normally be that concerned about pokeweed, but it seems like it's growing out of control this year. The photos from this blog are from the back of the radio station and most of the plants are growing over ten feet in the air.

The only way to get rid of the plant is by digging up the taproot and this is not an easy task.

Please keep a close eye on your young children and dogs as these berries may look enticing to them this autumn season.