Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Beautiful poison

Of all the "weeds" that appear in my yard, pokeweed is one of my favorites.


I love the look of the plant... the fleshy stems and leaves... the deep purple-black berries with fuchsia calyxes. 

I also like that it grows in terrible soil. I have a feeling that pokeweed is a nutrient accumulator, though I can't say for sure. Its habit of inhabiting waste areas makes me think so.

Whatever it is, I like to spread the seeds around my yard by clipping the berry stalks from the plant and chucking them here and there.

I'm asked regularly about pokeweed's edibility. The answer is yes, with proper preparation; however, they'll make you really ill if you screw up. I still haven't eaten any, but Green Deane does and relates his method here.

I let pokeweed plants get big, then chop them back to use as mulch/compost around my fruit trees. One day I might get around to eating them, but for now... I'll just enjoy their strange beauty under less life-endangering conditions.


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2 Comments:

At July 15, 2014 at 6:40 PM , Blogger Karen S said...

I agree whole-heartedly! Poke is incredibly beautiful and powerful! I also agree it must be an accumulator and is most certainly big medicine when handled properly.

 
At July 22, 2014 at 6:09 PM , Blogger Gardens-In-The-Sand said...

I blogged about poke too...
http://www.stonethegardener.com/wp/2014/05/phytolacca-americana/

In the research that I did... I came across the idea that the "weeds" actually help the other plants while they're actively growing!

I like shooting pics of poke... the birds eating poke... but... There are plenty of weeds I can eat that aren't going to poison me...

 

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