What is this?

smferguson(Z6 Nashville)September 21, 2012

Is it a weed? Are these berries good to eat or poison?

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groundplum

a very hard to remove weed. they call it poke salad I believe, and once is big the root is hard to pull up thus requiring some digging and all those berries are seeds.
Roundup does a nice job at killing it.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 5:49PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

It's Phytolacca americana, commonly called pokeweed. "Poke salad" is a mispronounced twist on another of it's common names, poke sallet. All parts of the plant are highly poisonous, but the leaves can be repeatedly blanched (to remove the toxins) and eaten as greens. Berries and shoots can also be specially cooked, to remove toxins, before being processed and eaten.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 10:10AM
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rockguy(7a)

The juice of the berries was used in colonial times for ink. It starts out purple, turns brown in time.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 5:52AM
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robinjbr(5a-b)

Thank you for posting this!

I have a giant one in my yard; it's very pretty! No offshoots so far. I plan to keep it so the birds will have something to munch on.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 2:51PM
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JonCraig(6b)

Ah... poke. My grandmother told me that she used to cook the leaves like brandon7 described. I've never tried it.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 8:19PM
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myrtleoak(z7 TN)

My father remembered picking "poke sallet". Apparently the smell of it cooking is not appetizing.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 9:20PM
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