HGrep
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is this just a 5 foot weed?

HI All,

Can I ask for some help on this...is this just a giant weed? There are several of them growing in the backyard. The stems are pretty thick &the tallest one is about 5 feet!

Thanks!
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rainbowgardener
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Re: is this just a 5 foot weed?

That depends on how you define weed. :) It is pokeberry. It will get taller and bigger yet and may put up more stems. The stems will get flower clusters on them that turn in to beautiful purple berries, which birds like. The new shoots before they get big are edible. Country folk used to call it poke salet because it was used in salad. The American colonists having no regular ink made ink from the berries and the Declaration of Independence was written in pokeberry ink. I think the plants with berries are beautiful and give that big, bold tropical look that garden designers are fond of.

Image
https://nadiasyard.com/wp-content/upload ... C_0171.jpg

that is with still mostly immature berries. Here are the ripe berries:

Image


But yes it is a volunteer and yes it will tend to spread itself pretty freely if you let it.
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HGrep
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Re: is this just a 5 foot weed?

Well, if it's good enough for the Declaration of Independence, it's good enough for me!
Thank you so much. I think I will keep them where they are & just keep an eye on them :)
Thanks for the fascinating facts, much appreciated!

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rainbowgardener
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Re: is this just a 5 foot weed?

I always leave one big clump, but get rid of a lot of others, where they pop up all over.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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!potatoes!
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Re: is this just a 5 foot weed?

had to dig out the root of a few poke plants in the spot where I'm growing yacon this year. 5 in. diameter roots! monsters.

purpleinopp
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Re: is this just a 5 foot weed?

This native can get much taller than 5 feet, though maybe not in NY. The berries are fairly toxic, so if you have kids around, tell them these berries are not for eating.

Not to put too fine of a point on it, but Phytolacca leaves should not be eaten raw, as in salad. Poke sallet is a cooked dish.
https://www.justapinch.com/recipes/main- ... allet.html

purpleinopp
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Re: is this just a 5 foot weed?

Forgot to say, sprouts are easy to pull, but a mature plant has a large tuberous taproot that is indeed impossible to pull, difficult to dig. If one needs to get rid of a mature pokeweed plant, you can cut it at the soil surface, then pour boiling water on the root.

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watermelonpunch
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Re: is this just a 5 foot weed?

Never tried boiling water but I've had success removing ginormous ones in flowerbeds by cutting it close and into root and poking a spike deep into the root, repeatedly imediately with some if they came back. Then they didn't come back and didn't show up in those spots again. Seems to wear out and die.
If any berries are produced birds will plant new ones wherever they toilet. :roll:
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applestar
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Re: is this just a 5 foot weed?

I always let some grow. During the fall migration, passing robins will strip a fully loaded poke plant in one visit. This irritates the resident cardinals, catbirds and mockingbirds to no end. -- especially the catbirds sound like they are complaining. :lol:
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suegardener
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Re: is this just a 5 foot weed?

!potatoes! wrote:had to dig out the root of a few poke plants in the spot where I'm growing yacon this year. 5 in. diameter roots! monsters.
I see you mentioning the yacon again and have read your earlier posts about growing it. Do you by any chance have a tuber or two to spare? Or if not do you know any other source? I noticed that you live in the Asheville area. My sister lives there and is coming next week to see us in Birmingham.
I have various seeds which may be of interest to you in trade.

suegardener
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Re: is this just a 5 foot weed?

!potatoes! wrote:had to dig out the root of a few poke plants in the spot where I'm growing yacon this year. 5 in. diameter roots! monsters.
Or I would be thrilled to purchase some yacon. I don't know whether the rules here permit anything like that.

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!potatoes!
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Re: is this just a 5 foot weed?

let's take yacon-talk to pm. a little off-topic here, i feel.

suegardener
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Re: is this just a 5 foot weed?

yes it is, so sorry. However, did receive your PM but am not permitted to reply by PM apparently because I am "too new". Apologies to all for this. Could you convey your contact info to me by PM or could you email me at lyndawhitney at gmail dot com?

And on-topic regarding the poke salat (archaic spelling here) plant, I do agree that keeping one or two around is a good idea. My grandmother always would pick the young leaves and cook them. I have followed suit and enjoyed numerous tasty and safe meals from them. If you have never done this, I can provide some guidance.

catgrass
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Re: is this just a 5 foot weed?

I'm not sure about pokeweed-Looks like Ragweed to me.
zone 9 Southwest La.

purpleinopp
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Re: is this just a 5 foot weed?

Catgrass, here's what ragweed looks like:
https://www.google.com/search?q=ragweed ... 88&bih=484

catgrass
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Re: is this just a 5 foot weed?

Kinda resemble Great ragweed. Still not convinced it is pokeweed, but I definitely think its a weed!
zone 9 Southwest La.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: is this just a 5 foot weed?

Most definitely, without a doubt pokeweed, see the pix I attached. Ragweed is quite different, makes seeds not berries, does not have the big hollow stem, etc etc.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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