Oct. 11, 2018

pokeweed, Phytolacca americana

Why poke? Because some wondered if it was different than poke milkweed, which it is. Why poke? Because in the past you couldn't take a five minute drive to the market to get a bag of Brussels sprouts. Poke greens, properly harvested and prepared, become polk sallet, a popular and allegedly tasty southern dish. Remember "Poke Salad Annie"? Why not poke? Because it is quite poisonous. If not properly prepared, you're in trouble! Why poke? We will try anything to make us feel better. This has been a popular folk medicine. Why poke? Many of us kids had fun making ink from the berries. Of course, now they just poke at their keyboards (oops, old guy's been edited: keypads). But giving credit where due, these youngsters have discovered that using the dye to coat solar panel fibers increases their efficiency. Pokeweed grows in AL, AR, AZ, CA, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, NB, ON, and QC(L). Lenawee Co MI, 7/5/18.