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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
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