Tuesday, July 28, 2009

pretty pokeweed

What is a weed? A plant who's virtues have not yet been discovered. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

update: After a conversation with my friend and neighbor who is also watching the pokeweed invade her garden, I thought I should add to my post. Pokeweed's "virtues" actually have been discovered. It is highly toxic if eaten raw by mammals but you may have seen it in a can labeled Poke Salet at your local grocery store. This version has been boiled at least three times I assume as that's what I've read is required to make it safe for human consumption (I'll stick to spinach, thanks). The birds can eat the raw berries when they are a nice, ripe black and then poop them all over my driveway just fine but it would do serious intestinal damage or worse to my children or the dog. Thankfully, my children are not in the habit of picking and eating random plants but still I make sure the pokeweed keeps to it's own side of the fence in the woods where I can safely admire its colorful stages of growth through the summer. I'm sure it will be popping up in flower arrangements in a month or so but I promise to keep it out of our mouths.


  1. That's a very interesting looking plant, huh? Is the stem really that bright hot pink color, or is my monitor not calibrated correctly. I know the colors are a bit off on my monitor, and I need to figure out how to fix it.

    My mother-in-law considers grass a weed. I think her goal is to have no grass one day and just a huge garden.

  2. It is very bright pink -why it stands out so pretty in the woods. The berries will go from white early on to the bright green here to a rich, shiny black. It really is a gorgeous plant.

  3. I saw some stuff that looks just like this around here except the stem is a whitish green instead of pink. I've learned the names of several plants that grow here because of you now :)


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