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Pokeweed

john doe nobody at nowhere.com
Sun Jul 26 12:10:07 EST 1998


On Thu, 23 Jul 1998 07:59:54 -0400, Tom McCloud
<McCloud at dtpax2.ncifcrf.gov> wrote:

>You may have in mind Phytolacca americana L., Phytolaccaceae,  a
>perenial plant that resprouts from large root each spring.  It is found
>across the eastern US, and I suspect elsewhere.  The stem is pithy,
>hollow, and not very strong.  Can grow to 2 meters tall.  Small clusters
>of white flowers followed by black berries the size of garden peas.  THe
>leaves of the plant contain a ribosome-binding protein, making them
>poisonous.  The crush berries have been used to make a kind of
>ink.                        Tom McCloud   Frederick, MD
>
>
>
>Mathias Vandenbogaert wrote:
>
>> Hi,
>> Who can give me the latin name of Pokeweed ?
>> (mathias.vandenbogaert at rug.ac.be)
>
>
And, perhaps the most obvious characteristic of adult plants is the
purple stems. Also all parts of the plant are poisonous, not just the
leaves. However, young plants are eaten by some in the spring (I don't
reccommend it; I'm just reporting it). I've never tried them, and
probably never will. (The people who eat it are probably the same ones
that eat a leaf of poison ivy each spring for self-immunization. While
some folklore herbal use is valid and a source for research leads, a
great deal is nonsense and some is downright dangerous).

Oops, sorry, I'll get off my soapbox now.



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