Pokeweed is a large herbaceous perennial that dies back in winter and resprouts every spring. It produces large lance-shaped leaves up to a foot long. The plant itself can become very large (8-12 feet) but I've never seen it over 6 foot. By summer, the stems turn an intense red and the plant produces hanging bunches of berries. Although they may look enticing, the berries are poisonous to humans. The young shoots however were eaten in the old days and made edible by boiling in several changes of water.