Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Nature Journal: Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)

These plants grow in stands all over the yard and can reach over ten feet tall.  Very young leaves are consumed (after repeated blanchings) in the South, but many experts warn against it because of high toxicity levels.  They produce dark purple (almost black) berries late in summer that are loved by birds but the seeds inside are poisonous to humans.  A red dye made from the berries was once used to color cloth and as ink for writing.  “Polk Salad Annie” notwithstanding, don’t even think about eating any part of this plant unless you are an experienced herbalist!  I can’t stop singing that song…
"Polk salad Annie, the gators got your granny (chomp - chomp chomp)
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang
(a wretched, spiteful, straight-razor totin' woman,
Lord have mercy! Pick a mess of it)"

1 comment:

artymess said...

Hi Conni love this post that song is great ...thanks for comments on my blog I had to delete all my blog friends and now I am adding them again so pleased that I have managed to connect with you again ....x