Friday, August 13, 2021

Poke Doing Its Thing

This bird-planted pokeweed (from the Native American puccoon) is growing up beside our deck. Yes, it's a weed but as Autumn comes on, its stems turn a gorgeous deep fuchsia and those little white flowers become glossy purple-black berries that the birds devour. I find it quite beautiful. 

The plant and berries and especially the roots are toxic though there is a tradition of using the young stems and leaves for food. Safe preparation involves three to five boiling water baths. 

I've never eaten poke so can't comment on whether it's worth the trouble if you're not desperate for greens. Some folks regard it as medicinal. I can't comment on that either.

I have crushed the berries and made a kind of ink -- a gorgeous fuchsia color which soon fades to brown. 

Mainly though, I just enjoy the way poke looks. 



Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

I hope you will post a picture of it this fall when it turns fuchia with purple berries. Meanwhile, it's nice to see what poke looks like, as I've come across mentions of it in stories and such.

Barbara Rogers said...

Around here it's just called Pokeweed...and isn't much liked. But that's because I live in a complex now, and I noticed the darn landscaping crew decided to weed whack the entire day lily plants...not just remove the old stems. So now we've got these awful scalped plants to look at. Ugh.

Marcia said...

I found poke berry bushes to be so invasive and heard to pull out because of their roots. I knew about the berry ink but not that it was edible.

jennyfreckles said...

I don't think we have them or an equivalent over here.