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Plant Identification

Posted by PHartmann 5 (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 16, 13 at 12:14

I have a very large unknown Perennial plant in my yard. It's about 8 feet tall this year. I have cut it back last year and this year both, but it grew back. It has individual stalks about an inch in diameter at the base, red stems with green leaves, small white flowers and forms purple/black berries. I don't know if it's toxic or not, and need help.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Plant Identification

The most commonly asked about plant - Pokeweed, Phytolacca americana.

RE: Plant Identification

The leaves and stems can be eaten at a very young stage, but must be prepared correctly (known as poke salad/sallet: I think it's pretty good; kind of like cooked spinach). At this age, your whole plant is toxic (but so are many other things in the garden, so don't let that scare you).

Each berry contains 10 seeds. Birds love the berries; they'll eat them and poop the seeds wherever they roost -- and then they'll all come up next year under those roosting places.

Pokeweed is a perennial which comes back each year -- and each year, larger! -- from a long root. To kill it, you must remove or kill the root. (Miss some of the root, and it will come back.)

So to get rid of it, you can:

1) dig it out,

2) pour boiling water on it,

3) cover the freshly-cut off root with a bit of Roundup (or generic glyphosate) concentrate; the easiest way to do this is to use a small squirt bottle (old mustard or glue bottle, cheap plastic bottle from a grocery or kitchen store, etc. -- then don't re-use the container for anything else).

RE: Plant Identification

The leaves and stems can be eaten at a very young stage, but must be prepared correctly

==>> oh obvious .. the legal implications.. of you suggesting that a reasonably poisonous plant is NOT such.. if they just follow your instructions.. makes my attorney mind spin ... all i ask is: why encourage them ... ????

hence the reason.. i simply skip that part of the story ...

let them find some other un-named online resource to risk their lives over....

let me run the opposite direction.. and suggest if you have children or grandchildren who like to stick shiny small grape looking things in their mouths .. GET RID OF IT NOW ... and the heck with the birds ...


RE: Plant Identification

ken, living in the heartland of poke sallet territory, a certain amount is expected of me. 8-)

The Internet folks can't make up their minds how to eat poke safely. (Well, some do say avoid it.)

And I have been a bit circumspect: haven't even hinted what the herbalists do with poke....

RE: Plant Identification

I'm waiting for ken to change his screen name to "killpokeweed". The poor man doesn't see an ounce of redeeming value in this native plant.

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