I live in a very old house and there are strange things in my yard. Do you know what this is? It’s not ripe yet and I’m not going to let it live. Pokeweed (Phytolacca) has been called “useful but dangerous” because the berries were used for ink by pioneers. It’s said that the leaves are edible if boiled in two changes of water. That’s the useful part of it. This plant shouldn’t be messed with–stems, seeds, roots and leaves are poisonous. Pokeweed can even kill large animals! Other animals such as doves and opossums love those berries. I like doves and opossums but sorry pokeweed. You have to go.