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Discussion in 'Macro, Flowers, Insects, and Greenery' started by Argent, Sep 9, 2008.
looked cool in the light
Looking for an ID so I can update my Flickr tags
It looks like a dogwood I have in my front yard. I don't know the variety.
I have it in my woods' edge. Viburnam??/
That is pokeweed. The berries can be crushed and made into a very good jam, but it can be toxic, and is not recommended in large amounts for children. Also, in the early spring, before the shoots are more than 8 inches in length it can be harvested to make poke salad. After it gets larger the leaves can make you very sick and can be deadly under the right conditions. The plant is also the source of Poke Weed Mitogen used to stimulate cell division is cell culture. Hope this helps.
Excellent thank you husawis!
it CAN be made into a good jam
but.... it CAN be toxic?
aren't those 2 things MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE?
you have me quite intrigued
Greg, my people ate the cooked berries with no trouble. But, the berries do contain low levels of some alkaloids which if injested by the infirmed or children can make produce illness. I keep a stand of these plants to make poke berry jam every fall and winter mixed with highbush cranberry and a bit of mint, great on ash-poached wild rice - it is great and quickly consumed - my family and I are still vertical . There is an interesting tid bit of interest to to some, the berries were used to make ink, poke ink or berry ink. I am told by my T'saligi friends that the ink was widely used in the South in the late 18th century. I have also been told but have not verified this, that the Declaration of Independence was written using ink made from Poke Weed berries.
It's also an invasive plant -- very difficult to completely eradicate once it gets started.
I read somewhere that the root is considered a delicacy in Japan.
Bob - this plant can get a little out of control. The root also has some antiviral activity - against herpes virus for one - and some antiinflamatory activity as well. Again, the difference between effective therapeutic dose and toxicity is very narrow and must be used with great care.
Don't we see the same thing in medicine? LD-50 ring a bell? I believe Theophylline and digitalis both have pretty narrow therapeutic indexes, Theo being one that really sticks in my head as being close to 1.5 or 2, IIRC.
you are correct but the meds you reference and the enitire LD-50 issue is usuually settled by clinical trials after rather exhaustive cell and animal studies - and still sometimes we do not get it right. The problem is with herbals and herbal derived foods we go by raw experience not by studies. So more caution is needed and I think Greg was right is pointing this out.
I have Spiderwort in my gardens. It too will make blue ink. I also have some walnut trees. I opened up a walnut and OMG, my hands were stained walnut color.
I saw the Pokeberry in the park fields. I don't think it grows in my wood edge.
Yep poke salad, a southern delicacy. I have eaten it in my youth, but having forgot about that, came home one day and the children told me the housekeeper had fed them weeds for lunch, they led me to woods, and there was large stand of poke salad. Have not thought about that in years.:smile:
" I opened up a walnut and OMG, my hands were stained walnut color"
soak the dried crushed black walnut hulls in mineral spirits, and you will have an excellent stain.