My garden is full of these plants, my Jamaican gardener says that these
are edible but he doesn't know what they are called here. Does anyone
know what these are<
You shouldn't do that, improperly cooked it is quite poisonous. The common
name is poke salad. It should be boiled in at least two changes of water and
then cooked to tenderness. It was once canned and sold commercially by a
cannery in Arkansas, but they can't get enough pickers any more. If you get
sick get to the hospital. The poison is water soluble and I believe in the
It would help to know where you are. Don't take it as gospel but,
if I saw that plant in my yard here in Florida, I'd call it "poke" and
know it to be edible until the stems and petioles turn magenta. Best
eaten young prepared as any other tender, mild potherb. Mature poke
leaves are often bitter. Poke is a tender perennial, the roots of which
survive sub-freezing temperatures but I don't know for how long. I have
a couple of pokeweeds in my "yard" that are at least 10y/o; one of them
is over 10' tall. This link will give you some idea what the climate's
<http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/weather.php3?refer=&sh437 If you
allow these to mature and make their berries, you will become legend
among migratory birds and poke will become more commonplace in your
neighborhood but even with the help of birds it is not particularly
aggressive. I allow volunteer poke plants to remain proximate the
garden as a trap for armyworms, "tomato worms", etc. until I get tired
of walking around them (they get pretty big, after a while).
USDA zone 9b, peninsular Florida, U.S.A.
Pokeweed becomes toxic when the stems and petiole begine turning
from green colored to magenta colored. At stage, the plant is so bitter,
even after prolonged cooking, that consuming a toxic quantity is not
likely. The berries induce gastric distress in people but birds love
them. As I indicated, pokeweed near the garden makes an excellent trap
crop for all manner of crawley munchers. Here's the USDA profile and a
range map: <http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=PHAM4 .
USDA zone 9b, peninsular Florida, U.S.A.
On Sun, 27 Jun 2010 06:42:29 -0500, phorbin wrote:
Fortunately I had boiled the hell out of it before I ate it, boiling
removes the toxins although you are supposed to boil it twice and I only
boiled it once. I didn't have any symptoms but that's the last time I eat
any unfamiliar plant. My gardener had told me that he eats this all the
time but he is from Jamaica. I suspect that they have a different plant
that looks like pokeweed.
But it does have its uses.
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
On Sun, 27 Jun 2010 11:33:56 -0500, phorbin wrote:
I always knew that this is the way people died from mushrooms, they learn
to identify safe varieties on one continent and then they go mushroom
picking on a different continent and they mistake a deadly variety for a
similar appearing but unrelated variety from their home country. There
was a case recently here in Massachusetts where some Russians poisoned
themselves when they ate some Death Angel mushrooms that they found in
their backyard. My father told me a similar story when I was a child
about a little boy who had stolen mushrooms from a neighbors garden, that
night the family had wild mushrooms that they had picked in the forest
but as punishment for his crime the little boy wasn't allowed to eat any.
The mushrooms were poisonous and every member of the family died except
the little boy. For the last 50 years I've wondered why my father told me
that story since the moral of the tale is that crime pays. I assume the
reason he told me the story was because it was something that he had just
read in the newspaper and not because he was conveying a twisted morality
to me. My take on the story was to confine mushroom picking to the
produce aisle of the supermarket. I never realized that the lesson
extended to green plants also, I didn't realize that there were any
deadly leafy plants growing in North America, now I know better.
Whichever way you turn it, the morel of the story is a little twisted.
I'd figure that if there was a message, he wanted you to latch onto the
idea that death, even if you think you know what you are doing, is ever
present ...and that this little boy was left completely alone in the
world for his crime.
A cruel, ironic punishment for a child.
There are a number of edible species with toxic lookalikes.
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