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Phytolacca american

Pokeweed

Family Phytolaccaceae


Use
Cooked green, cooked vegetable. Young shoots (up to 15cm or 6in)
or leafy tips can be boiled for 20-30 minutes in 2 changes of water.
CAUTION: ROOTS, SEEDS, AND MATURE STEMS AND
LEAVES ARE DANGEROUSLY POISONOUS.
BE SURE TO DISCARD ANY SHOOTS TINGED WITH RED.


Description

Growth Form: Large, widely branching, herbaceous plant.

Leaves: Large, elliptical, smooth-edged.

Flowers: Small, with 5 greenish-white sepals, clustered on a long stalk.

 

Leaves and part of fruit (Hannah Ramer. Brandeis University, Waltham, MA)
Leaves

Fruit and stem (Hannah Ramer. Lincoln, MA)
Fruits

Fruits: Purple-black, hanging dropping clusters on bright red-pink stem. Maturing in autumn

Stem: Single stemmed, reddish or pinkish, and smooth.

Habitat and Range

Waste places such as old fields, roadsides, from Minnesota to Maine and south to Texas and Florida.

Season

Harvest the young leaves and shoots in spring.

Fun Facts

It is also known by the names common pokeweed, American pokeweed, inkberry, pigeon berry, and pokeberry.

Click here to see a recipe to make Pokeweed Sprout Pickle!

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