Please help me identify monster plant!!!

candie1230(6b)August 1, 2013

Please tell me what this plant is. We didn't plant this and we're really wondering what it is and if we can transplant it. My mother thinks it's a beautiful plant and she wants to keep it.
It's about 4'5" tall with a sort of reddish/purple thick stem, huge green leaves and small white flowers that turn into dark green berries.
I have never seen a plant like this before and we live in southwestern Ontario near the Michigan border so we don't get tropical plants just popping up outside.
I have photos but I'm not sure how many I can upload at a time, it may take a few postings.
Any help would be much appreciated.

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candie1230(6b)

Second photo

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 4:30PM
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saltcedar(Sunset zn 30/usda 8b)

Phytolacca americana

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 4:31PM
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candie1230(6b)

Third photo

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 4:32PM
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saltcedar(Sunset zn 30/usda 8b)

Get ready for Ken to tell you to protect your women and children from this
ungodly abomination.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 4:33PM
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candie1230(6b)

Wow that was fast. Thank you very much.
Protect my women and my children??? Lmao. I'm a tough chick so I don't need protection and I don't have any kids. My nephews live with me but since they are 19 and 16 they are far past the put stuff in your mouth stage.
Any suggestions as to what to do with the plant?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 4:44PM
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saltcedar(Sunset zn 30/usda 8b)

Well for me it's an edible spring green vegetable (requires proper harvest and cooking). Other's consider it the weed from Hell and will tell you to call in an Air Strike at once.

Here is a link that might be useful: EatTheWeeds: Episode 82: Poke Weed II

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 4:48PM
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CaraRose

Ken would fall into the latter category.

To summarize for him -- it's toxic (although if you check out saltcedar's link, it's leaves are edible when cooked thoroughly). It has bright purple berries that tempt children that are also toxic.

It also is hard to remove and seeds are spread readily by birds that eat the berries and poop out the seeds.

He has waged war on it on his property and wishes to save other from what he experienced.

Did I miss anything?

That said, it's basically a native weed :). Someone from the UK posted about it being used as an ornamental there, where it's less likely to act aggressively.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 5:57PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i am so honored.. lol.. i think ...

cara close... i have added that the dark berries are an attractant to kids who think they might be tasty ...

personally.. anything i need to boil for an hour or two, in two separate water baths ....... i can live without.. lol ...

it is a perennial ... and by next season.. its root will be bigger than horseradish .... and near impossible to dig out.... and any part left in the ground WILL be back ...

as far as i am concerned.. it is poisonous in every aspect ....

and in summation.. EVERY SINGLE SEED WILL SPROUT NEXT YEAR .... it would be much easier to get rid of one now.. rather than the thousands next season ...

i have some 8 footers.. i have to do tomorrow... to avoid seed ripening.. i will cut them to the ground.. and drip full strength round up on the stump ... and half of them will still resprout ...

ken

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 6:16PM
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saltcedar(Sunset zn 30/usda 8b)

"anything i need to boil for an hour or two, in two separate water baths ....... i can live without.."

Hyperbolic! 17 minutes and that's because of liability concerns.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 6:26PM
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plantnut65

this critter has several neck names, the one I grew up with was poke salad, another is poke-weed.

I've had a many a plate full and have (now that I'm grown up) no intent on going back to making something I was made to eat. At moms table (and anyone else table, as far as that went), if you were so fortunate to eat at, no questions you ate it. The saying was, it was free, grew everywhere, and good for you, if mom cooked it right. I guess she did, I'm alive and sixty five.

Can't tell much about it, I don't remember ever going to bed hungry, It was the night we got fried fatback! :)

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 7:38PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Just nuke it in the microwave till it boils, change the water, repeat. I thought it was pretty tasty -- though like spinach, it cooks down to nothing.

EVERY SINGLE SEED WILL SPROUT NEXT YEAR

I can't prove or disprove that, but I did read that each berry contains 8 to 10 seeds -- which is ominous enough for me.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 9:08PM
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lisanti07028(z6NJ)

Every single seed really does sprout. And the birds eat every single berry and poop out every single seed. If I had acreage, maybe I would be more tolerant, but in my suburban lot, pokeweed is NOT welcome.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 10:54PM
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CaraRose

"cara close... i have added that the dark berries are an attractant to kids who think they might be tasty ... "

I mentioned that--

*It has bright purple berries that tempt children that are also toxic. *

:)

For what it's worth, I doubt I'd let it stay in my yard, despite loving natives and thinking that it's a pretty flower and gorgeous with those bright purple berries. I have enough misbehaving plants in the yard already between the ditch lilies and the yucca.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 10:38AM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

After pulling up the plants (& I seem to recall they have long taproots), you might have some fun making ink from the ripe berries...

Here is a link that might be useful: Pokeweed ink

This post was edited by carolb_w_fl on Sat, Aug 3, 13 at 12:12

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 12:11PM
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