A very intricate weed grows on the concrete banks of the Shibuya River


Next to crumbling concrete, trash, and a drainage pipe, I saw this beautiful weed with red and green flowers on the hard edge of the Shibuya River.


  1. Its nickname is “raisin des ours” (bears’ grape) in french. latin name is Phytolacca americana. here it is an invasive plant.

    1. Thanks, Magali. I believe you’re right in the name and its invasiveness. It comes from North American weed, and is also called Virginia poke, American nightshade, cancer jalap, coakum, garget, inkberry, pigeon berry, pocan, pokeroot, pokeweed, pokeberry, redweed, scoke, red ink plant and chui xu shang lu in Chinese medicine. It must be tough to grow in that neglected concrete channel that once was Shibuya river.

  2. red ink plant? is it a dying plant? If it is, it would be a very useful way to benefit of it (because it’s a nice plant, invasives are often…) in a “useful” way.

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