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Weed control, management, ecology, and minutia
by Roy Conley
on June 25, 2019 at 7:01 PM
I am 67 and have ate Poke Salad front I was a small child. My parents believed that needed to be pear boiled and then they would cook it scrambled with eggs. In contrast I found it growing in St Louis in Forest Park with a very heavy leaf mulch. I actually use an asparagus knife and cut Spears 6 to 8 in tall and cook them exactly like asparagus. They were wonderful. An addition I have taken young plants with very young leaves and put them in tall salads again with no problem. I routinely cut the plants back in the summer to promote new growth. This new growth I have never pear boiled and I have never had an issue. The first time I generally eat it in the spring it does act like a laxative. After that no issue. I am now growing it in pots in Alaska.
by Rex Newam
on June 7, 2020 at 8:57 AM
to @RonConley -- Ron, these are toxic. You will die.
Reply by Brad Hanson
on June 9, 2020 at 11:38 AM
Rex - probably a bit overstated and not correct.  
General info from "Weeds of California and other Western States"  
"In the rural South, specially prepared young shoots are often consumed as a vegetable, and cooked berries with the seeds removed are used in pies. However, all plant parts, especially the root, contain numerous saponins and oxalates and can be fatally toxic to humans and livestock when ingested raw or with improper preparation. Severe digestive tract irritation is the primary symptom."  
- Brad
by able charlie
on March 15, 2021 at 9:16 PM
This is an Excellent & interesting post. It’s such a beneficial for visitors.  
(Editted by Gale Perez)
by Trish Sommers
on May 7, 2021 at 7:41 PM
My parents were from the country in east Tennessee and grew up eating "poke salad". They later relocated to a city in a different state but my mom continued to fix it. In fact, it was the only green vegetable that everyone in the family enjoyed. I come from a long line of poke sallet eaters that all live to a ripe old age and my children have also grown up eating it. Although I have lived in the city my whole life, I consistently cultivate a small crop in my yard every year. I learned to prepare it from my mother, who learned it from her mother-in-law. We have never boiled it like most people I've read about. Instead we take the young, tender leaves and soak them in water. Then we tear them into pieces, dip them in flour and fry them in canola oil until they are crunchy (like you do with fried okra or squash). I like to pour a little vinegar on mine but it's also delicious without it. My husband, also a city boy, loves it as much as I do. Although I am not doubting the toxicity of the plant, none of us have ever experienced any of the effects.
by George Kelly Wages
on May 22, 2021 at 5:32 AM
I have never eaten Poke weed as I have a hugh garden with many domestic greens.I live in rural Arkansas and poke weed grows everywhere here. I have of course research poke weed and have always planned to try it. But never took the time to harvest and prepare any. But I just may do so this spring as It all over my property
by Kristi Christenson
on October 17, 2022 at 3:36 PM
I live in North Texas and while clearing my land I ran across some plants that seem to fit the description for pokeweed. Is there a way to send you a picture?  
Also ther are several trees growing among the mesquite trees that I think might be an Elm. But I would like to confirm that.
by Scott Oneto
on October 18, 2022 at 9:38 AM
Hi Kristi, yes you can email pictures to me. If you click my name at the top of the article, you can see my email address.
by Joliekay
on November 5, 2022 at 9:53 AM
I’m 49 years old and have eaten this as a vegetable my entire life. It is fantastic if you are fond of any type of cooked greens and to most even if you don’t like the usual ones. We never picked it after it started getting big only when it was hound and smaller tender leaves and it was par boiled and well drained and water wrung out before being scrambled with bacon and eggs. It is generally the first plant to shoot up to any size so it’s easy to find early in the spring landscape here in southern Oklahoma north Texas area. Once summer hits I leave the plant alone until next spring. I try to pick and freeze up enough to last a year. Nothing else has the flavor so if you ever do eat it you will understand. I know I have read that it’s good for arthritis as well when eaten on a regular basis. It’s a great vegetable when prepared correctly and I’ve never had any problems from it. It isn’t something to eat raw but it’s worth the work.
by Peter Connors
on December 27, 2023 at 8:34 AM
Pokeweed provides life saving shade for flower beds at my Dallas home. I want to know if I should cut the dead stalks in the winter to provide growth stimulation? Any tips on cultivation are appreciated. Thank you
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