Pokeweed, Pigeonberry

Pokeweed comes under the heading of poisonous plants though its berries

are eaten by birds, and its young shoots are said to be almost equal in

flavor, and quite as wholesome, as asparagus. It seems to be the large

perennial root that holds the poison, though some authorities claim that

the poison permeates the entire plant to a certain extent. The root is

sometimes mistaken for that of edible plants and the young leaves for
br /> those of the marsh-marigold, which are edible when cooked. It is a tall

plant with a stout stem and emits a strong odor. You will find it

growing by the wayside and in rocky places. The leaves are oblong and

pointed at the tips and base. They have no teeth. The small white

flowers are in clusters. The fruit is a small, flat, dark-purple berry,

growing in long, upstanding clusters on a central stalk. The individual

stem of the berry is very short. The name inkberry was given to the

plant because of the strong stain of the berry juice which was sometimes

used for ink. Pokeweed is at home in various states, Maine to Minnesota,

Arkansas, and Florida.