Large green leaves, no flowers or fruit, reddish stalk in eastern West Virginia

Discussion in 'Plant ID' started by Kelly Palmer, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. Kelly Palmer

    Kelly Palmer New Seed

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    Screenshot_20190610-210629_Gallery.jpg Screenshot_20190610-210620_Gallery.jpg Screenshot_20190610-210543_Drive.jpg [​IMG]
    My dog decided right next to this wild plant is her new favorite bathroom spot. Just want to make sure it's not Pokeweed or something else dangerous.
     
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  3. mart

    mart Hardy Maple

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    It is poke weed but there is no danger in it ! My dogs eat it and the berries, Thats what we are having for dinner tomorrow night ! There are many scare stories about poke weed but few are true ! We in many parts of the south have grown up eating it and know it well ! I have it growing by my deck and around the fences all over my yard ! Birds love the purple berries and after the seeds pass through the birds they germinate and keep our supply going ! We look forward to it every spring !
     
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  4. Kelly Palmer

    Kelly Palmer New Seed

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    That's good to hear, I'm originally from further north, and I've never seen this before. I was looking for it online, and saw that it might be poisonous.

    Thank you!
     
  5. mart

    mart Hardy Maple

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    That story has been going around for as long as I have been alive I think ! And I am 69 years old ! Just do not believe everything you read online ! You do not want to eat poke weed after it gets the purple berries but ours have just started putting the berries on and as long as they are small and white I just remove them and harvest the top leaves ! Bottom leaves are usually a bit stronger/tougher and early growth has little flavor to me so I try to get in the middle of the growth cycle !
    I break the top part off and until it gets really hot it will generate new growth ! After another week or so I will let it go to seed so we have it next year !
    It has a toxin as some other foods do but all you read online is no way to learn about foods ! Your poke weed looks like it is already past prime but chances are it will return next spring ! The tender young stems can be steamed and taste similar to asparagus, the young stems can also be peeled and sliced cross wise and fried like okra ! The young leaves can be boiled about 15 or 20 minutes then drained and sauteed in a small amount of oil ! It tastes like a wild spinach! We add a couple of eggs to ours and scramble til the eggs are set and done ! If you are in W. Virginia I imagine many of the older people have grown up with poke weed too ! If you would like to try it as free food,,look for it next spring ! Its preparation is simple ! Just get it before it gets to be large like yours is !

    Many foods have a natural toxin ! Potatoes are one of the best known ! I have seen many sites telling about Poison Potatoes ! They can develop a toxin in the peel and just beneath it will get a green hue ! Most of us just cut below the green area and eat the potato anyway ! You would have to eat about 5 lbs of the green potatoes to have any ill effect ! However the leaves of white potatoes are naturally toxic ! Sweet potato leaves on the other hand can be eaten and are frequently used in oriental cooking !
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
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  6. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    Mart, thanks for that valuable information. I have never tried poke weed as I have always been hesitant to poison myself. maybe I will give it a try after reading your instructions.
     
  7. AAnightowl

    AAnightowl Young Pine

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    To my knowledge it is only the poke berries that are poisonous. However they do make lovely dye.

    The bigger the leaves though, the more bitter they are. Pick them when young and small if you are inclined to eat them. One taste of the big leaves cured me of eating them. I would have to be in dire straits to eat them again.
     
  8. Kelly Palmer

    Kelly Palmer New Seed

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    That's some great info, thanks everyone! I might try that out next spring!
     

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