Pokeweed is a native North American plant, with North Carolina almost in the center of its natural range. Europeans discovered it only after the colonists came. As a wildlife food staple pokeweed excels. The berries ripen in late summer and last far into winter. Migratory birds benefit from them; as they begin their southward journey, they find a 1,500 mile table of pokeweed set before them. A number of mammals, such as fox, bear, raccoon, skunk, and opossum, feed on the berries.