Pokeweed story


View toward the street.


View from opposite direction….

All the rain last night transformed the majestic pokeweed (aka poke salad, Phytolacca americana) specimen that’s growing right next to the oak stump from a looming canopy above to the tragic fallen biomass, shown right. I assume the weight of the water shattered the main branching junction, but perhaps it was windy enough that that was a factor (wind, shiver…)….

You may remember (okay, vaguely) this photo (follow the link) from early April of the young shoot part of this plant’s history….

We all pretty much agreed that this had to be the largest pokeweed plant we’ve seen. The stem is big enough to merit being referred to as a trunk, I think. I ought to get out and measure it….

The birds have been stealing the berries as they get ripe from the tips of the clusters inward (upward?—no longer!). The downside of feeding the birds is that they scatter the seeds, and, voila!, next year we may have a huge crop of pokeweed in this neighborhood!

One comment

  1. Pooh says:

    You can use pokeweed berries, (and maybe the stems near the berries?) as a natural dye. It is a beautiful color, but not very light fast. I remember that you have to use special dyeing techniques because of the pH. Maybe you add a lot of vinegar to the water? It’s too early for me or I’d look it up.