All photographs copyright (2003-2013) by Kris H. Light

<strong>Pokeweed</strong>
<em>Phytolacca americana</em> /Pokeweed Family<br>
These are the flowers of the "Poke Salad" (a.k.a. Poke Sallet) plant, which is relished by some people in this area in the early spring (the fresh leaves have to be boiled s...
Pokeweed
Phytolacca americana /Pokeweed Family

These are the flowers of the "Poke Salad" (a.k.a. Poke Sallet) plant, which is relished by some people in this area in the early spring (the fresh leaves have to be boiled several times). Even though I live in Tennessee and this plant is a common weed here, I have never eaten Poke. I still have memories of eating boiled Chickweed on a Girl Scout campout many years ago, so I'm not much into eating weeds! :) The berries of Pokeweed turn a dark purple in the fall (see "Fruits and Seeds" gallery). There are 10 shiny black seeds in each berry. Birds love the berries and often leave an unmistakable purple, seedy "calling card" on your car or mailbox! All parts of the Pokeweed plant are poisonous to turkeys, horses, pigs, sheep, and cattle due to the toxins phytolaccatoxin and phytolaccigenin.
Perennial
Where seen: Oak Ridge, Great Smoky Mountain NP, Warrior's Path SP, widespread

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