Pokeweed – Phytolacca americana

Ripe Pokeberry fruit

The Pokeweed was long used by the Native Americans. They introduced the colonists to it’s use as a vegetable, a medicine and a dye.

Very young leaves were boiled in two changes of water to make “Poke Salad.” Poke Salad is a very popular dish in the Deep South. In the 1960’s a popular song “Poke Salad Annie” immortalized the plants edibility. It is a source of Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron and a number of vitamins.

The Native Americans used Poke for syphilis, diphtheria, conjunctivitis, cancer, and emesis, but caution must be shown in use, as the seeds are poisonous and possibly fatal

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