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Edible Use


Family: Phytolaccaceae
Phytolacca americana

Description: Pokeweed's most prominent features are the fruiting clusters. The fruit is purple-black with red stems and is ripe in the autumn.

Leaves: Pokeweed has simple, untoothed leaves. The leaves in the Phytolaccaceae family are all opposite.

Habitat: Pokeweed typically grows along roadsides, in cultivated fields, or in waste places, but I have seen Pokeweed growing in woody areas, too.

Location: There is Pokeweed growing in the woody area between the art building, Goldman-Schwartz, and the Rose Art Museum. There is also Pokeweed growing along the roadside on a street off of South Street on the way to the Mass Pike.

Use and WARNING! Young shoots up to 6 inches are said to be good as an asparagus, a cooked green, or as a pickle. To eat, you have to boil the shoots for 20-30 minutes. To pickle the shoots, change the water multiple times and put in hot vinegar. WARNING: Roots, seeds, mature stems, and leaves are highly poisonous. DO NOT ACCIDENTALY EAT ANY ROOTS OR REDDISH SHOOTS!

***Do not eat Red shoots like this!