Pokeweed or Poke Salad (Phytolacca icosandra)

Poke Salad using Pokeweed (Phytolacca icosandra)

I was on my way to the creek when I passed this plant with a bright magenta arch and little alien pods that sprouted out of it like it was from a child’s science fiction fantasy.  Pokeweed is a very curious looking plant, upon further research I discovered that people used to eat the leaves like spinach but the roots and berries are quite toxic for digestion.  Although birds are able eat the seeds children have been known to be poisoned from them and the root is a good cure for lice when boiled in water (external use only!).  So I guess I will pass on the Poke Salad.

The berries can also be used to create a dye for dark fabrics. If you choose to add this beauty to your garden give it plenty of room to spread out. It grows wide and big.

Poke salad or weed photoPokewweed – When to find it

Seeds are distributed by birds and mammals. The seeds can live dormant in shallow dirt for more that 10 years until conditions are absolutely perfect for sprouting to occur. When the plant is ready it bursts up out of the ground well rested and ready to produce some color.

 

2 comments on “Pokeweed or Poke Salad (Phytolacca icosandra)”

  1. Todd Carnes Reply

    Poke berries stain your skin dark purple and it seems like it’s NEVER going to come off. 🙂

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