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Pokeweed, Pigeonberry






Category: Viii Little Foes Of The Trailer

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
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.





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