Here are some photos from Pokeberries, also known as Pokeweed… if in the back of your head those lyrics are running “Poke Salad Annie, a Gator got your Granny,” you’re on the right track. What you might not have known is that all parts of the Pokeweed is toxic to mammals. Yet Native Americans, and European settlers both used Poke weed as a food source. Some parts of the plant are more toxic than others. The typical cooking method involved boiling the leaves, dumping the water, boiling the leaves again then dumping the water and boiling one more time. Many authorities advise against eating it even when cook as some toxins may remain. It should never be eaten without being cooked.
Native Americans and pioneers also used this plant as a medicine, both internally and externally. It has been used to treat a variety of ailments and conditions including acne, tonsilitis, weight loss and even boils! More recently researches have been studying its use for the treatment of AIDs and Cancer. The berries were used by the Cherokee to make red dye.
Below are a few images of the berries. I hope you enjoy them.